Home » Uncategorized » Decolonising the academy: the only way forward: 1

Decolonising the academy: the only way forward: 1

An eye-opener of a sojourn?

My recent visit to Canada, to attend the two largest academic events in political science in francophone and Anglophone Canada, was an eye opener, and a stark reminder of the ways in which racial, socioeconomic and political hierarchies operate in academia. It was also a fulsome confirmation of the ways in which knowledge production takes place in the field of international politics. The near-totality of research work on peace processes, power-sharing, peacebuilding, conflict management, IR theory is, pace a handful of rare exceptions, all done by cis white people in the global North. After a few months of field work in x and y location in the global South, they structure their arguments, present papers at conferences, publish in scholarly journals and academic publication houses, and the knowledge they produce thus becomes the ‘status quo’ knowledge. It is this body of work that serves as ‘the’ reference to their very powerful and influential Western governments, supra-national bodies and, appallingly, to the large majority of governments in the global South. To the so-called urbane, Westernised ‘civil society lobbies’ in countries in the global South (especially in deeply divided societies), the work produced by cis white academics in the global North is, [continue reading here].


Our event ‘Decolonising SOGIESC advocacy in South and Southeast Asia: An Activist Conversation’ took place this morning in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara. Months of painstaking work went into the organising of this event, involving one of the senior-most community leaders of the region, Bubli Malik Sahiba, and it was a beautiful collaboration between #Venasa and #Wajood. Venasa is a grassroots trans rights advocacy group founded by the excellent Thenu Ranketh, a leader and role model to us all. Wajood is a leading trans rights body based in Islamabad, which has broken new ground in claiming space in governmental and judicial circles. The workings of neoliberal NGO-industrial LGBT+ rights work is such that Thenu could not join us, and yet another major resource person, Nada Chiayajit, also could not join us. To our greatest regret, our dearly beloved colleague and decolonial queer trailblazer Thiagaraja Waradas @waradas could not join us, as a result of an extremely questionable act of censure and erasure by ILGA World on the day before his planned trip to Aotearoa. However, and despite all those challenges, we managed to host this event. We had clearly outlined the necessity of a one-and-half-hour session, to do the minimum justice possible to the absolutely vital issues being discussed. However, we were only given a mere 45 minutes, which was barely sufficient for our excellent panellists to make their opening statements. This in itself is a reminder of the importance of looking beyond the NGO-industrial complex when working for SOGIESC advocacy, within our respective countries as well as internationally. It was our greatest pleasure to display the Tino rangatiratanga flag, and pay respects to the rightful owners of the land we are standing on. My heartfelt thanks go to my sister Kassie who opened the session with traditional Māori greetings and welcomed us to Aotearoa. #DecolonialAdvocacy #DecoloniseSOGIESC #SOGIESC #GINSOGI #ILGANZ2019 #TeWhanganuiaTara #GenderJustice #Lka #SriLanka #Pakistan #Venasa #VTN #Wajood #TransPolitics #SouthAsia #ClaimingSpace #DecolonialPolitics #DecoloniseILGA
This morning, I had the great pleasure of gifting a copy of my book ‘Decolonising Peacebuilding: Managing Conflict from Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka and Beyond’ [2018], to UN Secretary General’s Special Expert on SOGIESC issues, Victor Madrigal-Borloz. This book is all about challenging established assumptions, perspectives and understandings in relation to the study of politics of deeply divided places, and of developing new, if not innovative strategies of addressing shared challenges. It is also about recognising knowledge systems and analytical approaches that are from non-Western parts of the world, and of ‘de-centring’ the West in our ways of understanding the politics of peace and conflict. It is also about the agency and voice/s of people, especially women, very especially queer women, from the global South/s. The issues discussed in this book share a great deal in common with global challenges involved in working towards SOGIESC rights, especially in the global South/s. #InternationalAdvocacy #DecolonisingPeacebuilding #UnitedNations #VictorMadrigalBorloz #GINSOGIE #SOGIESC #LGBTQIA #Peacebuilding #ConflictResolution #DeeplyDividedPlaces #SriLanka #NorthernIReland #Tamil #Sinhala #Nationalisms #EthnicConflict #DecolonialPolitics #DecolonialEpistemologies #GlobalSouths #ChamindraWeerawardhana #Venasa #Chathra #CWDF #LKA #SriLankanPolitics #RepresentationMatters #PoliticalLeadership #MiExistirEsResistir
Intervention lors de la pré-conférence francophone, organisé par Montréal International, ce qui a facilité une représentation francophone qui n’a jamais été le cas auparavant au sein des plateformes internationaux de l’ILGA. Ma présentation fut intitulé “Vers les mers lointaines : regards croisés sur les francophonies, les héritages francophones et défis SOGIESC de l’’espace « Asie-Pacifique » #francophonie #DroitsdePeuplesIndigènes #Tahiti #Kanaky #Montréal #Montréalnternational #solidarités #globalSouth #AsiePacifique #Ilga2019NZ
A lot of solidarity towards #Muslims here in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara this morning, in the aftermath of white suprematist terror. What unites us is way stronger than what divides us #ChristchurchTerrorAttack #ChristchurchMosqueShooting #NewZealandMosqueAttack #Islamophobia #ILGA2019NZ #theyareus
Te-Whanganui-a-Tara #pride parade cancelled, in the aftermath of the Christchurch white suprematist terror attack. The whitestream media, as usual, is damn desperate to avoid using the word ‘terrorist’ when referring to the perpetrator of this attack. We need to talk about the damage caused by white supremacy to peoples of colour and to peoples of different faith and sociocultural traditions. We need to talk about the links between such issues and worldwide #sogiesc advocacy. #aotearoa #christchurch #lka #FightTerrorInAllItsForms #newzealand
This video is everything about being #SriLankan🇱🇰. We are a highly diverse people with so many different backgrounds, cultural backdrops, traditions and knowledges. Our richness as a people lies precisely in our amazing beautiful, hardworking and high-achieving people, and most importantly in the diversity of our shared heritages. There is definitely a need to showcase more of the rich traditions and knowledges of our minority communities. @theminoritytaste is doing a tremendous and much-needed job in showcasing these culinary traditions - in this specific case Lankan Malay culinary traditions which are, 100% authentically and fully Sri Lankan. In a land slowly recovering from the scars of a 30-year war, where ethno-national politics and politics of self-determination remain unaddressed and (dangerously) ignored, where we are often reminded that the ‘peace dividends’ we now enjoy are in fact a reality that stands on very thin ice, it is always crucial to appreciate our diversity, and remind ourselves of this truism - that what unites us in our diversities is always a lot stronger than what divides us. #lka #Malay #SriLankanFood🇱🇰 #food #traditions #heritage #blessthegrannies #culinaryarts

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