Day 3: Friday 16th June
Please do not sign up to more than one workshop within a single time slot as spaces are allocated based on room capacity.
Breaks will take place between 3-4pm and 6-7pm on each day of the Festival.
Further information about our workshop facilitators can be found via the Eventbrite link to their workshop.
Workshop 1 (1-3pm)
1.1 Speculating the Future through Dreaming: Dialogues on Decolonial Dreaming Theory and Praxis
Facilitated by: Delso Batista (Nottingham Trent University)
“O sonho fecunda a vida e vinga a morte”
“Dreams fertilize life and avenge the death” – Conceição Evaristo.
Decolonial dreaming is a radical proposition for the transformation of dehumanising, hierarchical and exclusionary practices in shared spaces such as the Western neoliberal university (Nirmal & Dey, 2022). As a praxis, decolonial dreaming encompasses participatory dialogue and reimagination with the purpose of creating collective alternative ways of being and relating (Watkins & Shulman, 2010). Decolonial dreaming is about connection, ancestral knowledge, and a radical future, a praxis in which past, present and future are intertwined. Through dreaming, reciprocity, songs, art and storytelling can be combined in unfolding open spaces for reimagined possibilities to think, feel and exist as we collectively learn and understand the world (Nirmal & Dey, 2022). Dreaming is a crucial stage in the project of decolonisation as dialogue and dreams become potential grounds for a new social order (Battiste, 2011).
This workshop aims to create a space in the context of the university in which students, faculty and staff can shift collectively the consciousness to renewed possibilities, transforming oppressive and marginalising institutional practices and discourses (Nirmal & Dey, 2022; Watkins & Shulman, 2010). Through decolonial dreaming, this workshop hopes to share a collective space for dialogue about restoring the past and reimagining the future. The proposed activities combine communal dreaming (Watkins & Shulman, 2010) and social dreaming (Goncalves & Ojha) approaches.
1.2 Social Media for Social Justice
Facilitated by: Thilakshi Mallawa Arachchi, Mia Bates, Dr Jenna Condie (Western Sydney University)
This workshop is conducted by a student-staff coalition comprising of two students and a staff member from Western Sydney University, Australia. Given our complexities, ‘identity’ is best understood as ‘identities’ and there is nowhere better to witness the multiplicity of selves we project and perform than across the various digital platforms we now use for our everyday, ordinary activities. In this workshop, we will consider how our digital identities and practices can shift for greater influence and action in the social movements.
Workshop 2 (4-6pm)
2.1 Understanding allyship and being an ally
Facilitated by: The Decolonisation and Anti-Racism (DAR) study group
The “DAR” study group is your modern-day book club that aims to foster the learning and dialogue that is needed in any effort towards social justice in higher education. We offer a space that facilitates the analysis and discussion of texts, media and news, in the hope that you will join us as we call these into question, reflect on our own ideas and practices, and stretch our understandings beyond the colonial and racist confines of the academy. The study group is brought to you by the Pedagogies for Social justice project, which is a student-staff partnership at the University of Westminster, hence this invitation extends to all students, academics and staff across the institution.
This session is dedicated to exploring the relationship between social media activism, allyship and decolonial work in the university. Social media is an extremely useful and powerful tool for activist work, but we can sometimes fall into the routine of ‘performative activism’. Therefore, it is crucial that we learn how to use social media in ways which make us effective activists and demonstrate our true allyship to those of whom we are allies of. In this session, we will focus on the difference between ‘real activism’ and ‘performative activism’ in relation to social media, and how we can be effective allies by using social media platforms for our activist work. We will further explore how we can use social media as a platform for decolonial work in the university by drawing on these ideas. During the session, we will complete interactive activities, which will involve taking part in a Kahoot quiz, making posters, a Jubilee-style activity and devising our own action plans.
2.2 Confronting Colonialism in Higher Education
Facilitated by: Dr Sharon Stein (University of British Columbia)
This workshop takes as its starting point that western universities were founded and continue to operate in ways that naturalize systemic colonial violence and ecological destruction. Given these foundations, some suggest it is impossible to decolonize the university and orient it toward social and ecological justice. However, it remains important to interrupt colonial patterns of knowing, being, and relating in ways that can reduce harm and gesture toward other possible futures. The first step in the direction of different futures is to confront the colonial past and present. Grounded in the depth pedagogy approach developed by the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Research/Arts Collective, workshop participants will be invited to expand their intellectual, affective, and relational capacity to hold space for difficult and painful realities about the limits and harms of our existing systems and institutions without feeling overwhelmed, immobilized or demanding quick fixes or rescue from discomfort.
Informed by decolonial critiques that emphasize how our social positions and individual and collective experiences shape the ways we experience and encounter the world, the approach to education taken in this workshop challenges the common desire for “universal” pedagogical resources and activities. What is optimal for the process of learning and unlearning for one group of people can be sub-optimal or even harmful to another, and vice versa. Thus, we emphasize that different people may experience this workshop differently, recognizing diversity both within and between communities.
If you are a racially minoritized person, some of the content of this workshop may cause you to re-experience difficult emotions and events. We describe the systemic and interpersonal dynamics of racism and colonialism and expose macro- and micro-aggressions that are invisible to many white people. Some racially minoritized people will experience this exposure as a relief and an opportunity to process and integrate the lessons of past trauma, while others may experience it as re-traumatization. Only you can decide whether it is the right context and time for you to proceed with this workshop.
If you are a white person, the content of this workshop will invite you to sit with the fact that what you have been socialized to think as normal and natural can be experienced as violent and harmful by racially minoritized communities. This will likely create a level of dissonance, discomfort, exasperation, displeasure, frustration, disillusionment and/or disenchantment, which are necessary for you to experience in order to be able to dis-identify and potentially interrupt patterns of socially sanctioned harmful projections, desires, and behaviours. It is up to you to decide if this is the right moment for you to proceed with the workshop.
Evening session (7-8:30pm)
Critical Pedagogies Project Annual Lecture:
Decolonial Pedagogy as Everyday Practice: or, what’s a decolonial response to a lost aubergine curry recipe?
Facilitated by: Dr Tanveer Ahmed (Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London)
In this talk I will explore a process of decolonial pedagogy as an everyday practice for educators and students. After having my abstract for an international conference rejected on the grounds that it was submitted two days late, my appeal was declined, with no attempt from the organisers to enquire why. Instead, if the organisers had offered a dialogical response, I might have explained the reason for my late submission: how I had spent several wasted days on the internet searching for an aubergine curry recipe similar to the one my mother used to make, in my grief following her death. I had mistakenly assumed that an ethical dimension and process would be integral to this conference, given its theme was decolonising education.
As more higher education institutions, conferences, journals, professional development courses, curricula, reading lists and forms of assessment advertise their decolonial credentials, how are such approaches becoming increasingly removed from a decolonial process, institutionally co-opted and emptied of meaning? To unpack the complexities, paradoxes and importance of everyday practices in decolonial pedagogies, I will talk about the role of informal pedagogies, dialogue and allyship to foster an ethics of love for more social justice-oriented pedagogies.