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Sussex Development @SussexDev
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#Decolonising #Development must be approached against a dual background of (a) optimistic anticolonial pushbacks like #RhodesMustFall & (b) renewed, frantic & violent attempts to hold on to the 'white man's world' - @o_rutazibwa opens the last #SussexDev lecture of 2017 @IDS_UK
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK The 'bathwater' here is #development as a system (ideologies, institutions, practices) which we may need to get rid of; we need to fight the desire to hold on to 'development studies' even if it has given us our professional identities (and paychecks) @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK The 'baby' in this story is the ideas, desires and energy - global #justice, #solidarity, #reparations - righting the past and present wrongs that persist 'after' colonialism (the end of which was never quite the rupture we sometimes imagine) - @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK This talk will address Western European understandings and practices of #development and how they have been shaped. #Decolonising Development discussions in previously colonised spaces may rightly come up with a different set of priorities - @o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK Recalling a conference on post development where it was asked 'After 4 decades of postdev critique, how come we still have the international #aid and #development sectors?' @o_rutazibwa began to think about the relation between teaching international development & the sector
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK As long as we still teach international #development and cultivate it as a career path, despite our critique in the classroom, it is unlikely that we will disrupt or destabilize the international #aid and development industry - @o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK Drawing on these insights, @o_rutazibwa puts forward a threefold #decolonial strategy inspired in part by the work of @MeeraSabaratnam: a strategy that addresses Ontology, Epistemology and Normativity #SussexDev @IDS_UK
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam Firstly, Ontology - this pertains to the myths that structure development thinking (and which are not acknowledged/recognised as myths): it is very difficult to conceive of a space in development that is outside of a Western presence - @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam We need to think about Origin, Fragmentation & Eurocentrism. Thinking about Origins: where do we start our #development courses? Truman's Speech (…) or Fanon (…)? @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam Fragmentation: We need what @GKBhambra calls connected sociologies. This means not thinking about Europe/development only appearing on the scene as 'firefighters' (as when you start courses with Truman's speech), but thinking about colonial background of development 'problems'
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra Eurocentrism: we need to respond to thinkers like Dipesh Chakrabarty and the idea of provincializing Europe, and think about what a #development research agenda that doesn't follow / respond to European presence would look like - @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra Looking at the institutions in which we generate knowledge: we need to think about decoupling #solidarity from international #development & #aid institutions - and if we do that, the rationale for International Development departments may disappear @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev @IDS_UK
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra We make students aware of the pitfalls of the #development desire, but institutionally we take students’ money and encourage them to pursue careers in international development institutions - @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev @IDS_UK
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra On to Epistemology, the 2nd #decolonial strategy, @o_rutazibwa looks at how myths persist despite critique. There are questions about who gets to speak &
who gets to be an expert, we must address Silencing, Hierarchised Binaries, & the Absence of Space for other forms of knowing
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra Silencing: we need to ask how much of our work is implicated in what dos Santos calls 'epistemicide'. There's no need for an *intention* for work to kill off other knowledges; this also happens through overrepresentation & hypervisibility of certain groups @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra Hierarchised Binaries: so much #development thinking takes place through hierarchised binaries, ideas like 'capacity building', where North-South equality only appears possible after a convergence in the future @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev @IDS_UK
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra Absence of Space: need to make space for e.g. embodied knowledge as something taken seriously not just used to make classes interesting! After @RobbieShilliam we need to think of knowledge *cultivation* not knowledge production & invite #unlearning into the classroom #SussexDev
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra @RobbieShilliam #decolonising epistemology in #development also means being prepared to close down certain research areas for ourselves, refusing for instance to be a 'country expert' - whatever that may mean! @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev @IDS_UK
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra @RobbieShilliam Finally the 3rd #decolonial strategy, 'Normativity': we must have guts to detach our teaching & research from the idea of objective knowledge production, which is often knowledge that serves the status quo. How do we produce knowledge that is not in service of a 'will to power'?
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra @RobbieShilliam Even if wrapped in good intentions, most #development institutions are animated by a will to power. Thinking about how our knowledge production can *not* be in service to a will to power, we may start by thinking of #aid as reparations, not aid - @o_rutazibwa #SussexDev @IDS_UK
@o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK @MeeraSabaratnam @GKBhambra @RobbieShilliam In closing the #SussexDev lecture: we cannot commit to anti or #decolonial global justice, reparations & solidarity while there is a colonial international #development industry fed by our (profitable) int dev departments - @o_rutazibwa @IDS_UK
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