Category: power & power relations

the memory of seeds and indigenous resurgence in tharaka, kenya

“In the global North, it has become more common to declare that indigenous peoples hold the solutions to the climate crisis. Such rhetoric risks being only lip-service if solutions don’t recognise and resource indigenous-led work to repair damage to indigenous cultures, commit to indigenous resurgence and integrate the wisdom of indigenous values.  After decades of shame, suppression and devaluation, much indigenous knowledge held by groups like the Tharaka has been…

why we should study afrikan history

“Tracing African pasts through the interlinked lenses of agency, possibility and imagination allows us to counter narratives of Africa as a blank slate, to challenge the privileging of whiteness and Europeanness, and to debunk myths about Africans as people who are destructive or unchanging. It allows us to illuminate diverse possibilities of human living to build on, against the hegemony of a present moment that unsees and devalues us. For…

on searching to find the africa in african studies

When we wrote our open letter to the department of African Studies, hoping to document our collective grievances and open a conversation about how to change and improve the course for future students, we titled it “Searching for the ‘Africa’ in African Studies”. Getting through that course and being able to truly say that one had learnt somethings in African Studies, one had to search. Search beyond the shock of…

“sub-saharan africa” doesn’t exist – drop the scissors

So last year we talked about how there is no such thing as the “Arab spring” – yes? yes. And you cut that out of your vocabulary. Good. I thought we wouldn’t need to have a conversation about how there is no such place as “Sub-Saharan Africa”…. but well, it seems we do, because the rate I keep seeing this term, and with my fellow rads and Africans too……‍ so…

on african institutions and class consciousness #rant

So as much as I am all for African Studies conferences having a base in Africa, I have to say the registration charges for the upcoming African Studies Conference by the African Studies Association in Africa (ASAA), make me question which Africa the conference – whose focus is on African and Africana knowledges – is aimed at. Tickets range from $45 for an Africa based student’s daily entry (which students…

reclaiming time + space – what pretty hides #2

I was recently again in London for a brief moment for my graduation. It’s summer and sunny and warm – the best time to be in London because you can be outside for longer periods of time. And yes indeed, summer means picnics, walks in parks, swims in ponds, lunches in parks, games in neighbourhood greens, full outdoors enjoyment of life. So much so that I thought visitors to London…

are we talking about what we are talking about?

We are on our way to Wales for the final section of the GESA programme (written in August 2018*). I was in two minds about coming for this last part of the programme and strongly considered going back to London. Here’s why. Bird, Why are you stuck in the tree Flapping flapping, Wildly beating your wings Against what holds you back, That which we cannot see. Your flaps are getting…

what pretty hides

We have just concluded a few days of an opening retreat designed to have us bond with each other and gently enter the GESA structure and family. As an opening to this, we talked about what we would like to be our group agreements that would allow us to participate, share and learn, both safely and courageously. These included how to show appreciation for what someone is saying while they…

we don’t need the lamu coal plant

I got caught out on this post when the Supreme Court annulled the August election results after I had drafted the post and all…. The annulment [and everything that followed it] resulted in an extra-long election period and collective holding of breath accompanied by lots of intrigues (threats, insults, name callings, arrests…. With all that happening I didn’t feel like I could post this…. Ironically, because I start by talking…

a feminist kitchen? it’s all in the design

According to the Macmillan Dictionary, a kitchen is a room where you prepare and cook food, and wash dishes. The role and meaning of kitchens around the world is more varied and complex than this definition would have one believe, however. Ordering space through design is a key way in which diverse meanings are ascribed to nominally similar space. Design defines what a space is and isn’t, and who is…