Critical Conversations: Unpacking the D-Word is a series of workshops that aim to re-centre the discourse of Decoloniality, which underpinned much of the student social movements of 2015-2017. Engaging with Decoloniality as a theoretical and political praxis, we hope to confront the enduring legacies colonialism and Apartheid and their attendant forms of social and economic inequality. Although Decoloniality has been taken up as a buzzword in some sector of the academy, in others it has been met with uneasiness, scepticism, and uncertainty as to its applicability as either theory or practice.
Informed by debates in decolonial theory, critical pedagogy, and global citizenship education, this iteration of Critical Conversations hopes to tackle the question of Decoloniality through a critical and exploratory lens rooted in an African, South African, and Cape Town context. Our objective is to address a range of contemporary social justice issues through a Decolonial lens with the aim of cultivating critical civic engagement; provide a space for student-centred learning and reflection in an extra-curricular environment; and contribute to institutional transformation at UCT through an epistemological focus on local histories, intellectual traditions, and political struggles.
Critical Conversations: Unpacking the D-Word will consist of six two-hour workshops on the following themes: race, economic justice, gender and sexualities, environmental justice, masculinities and gender-based violence, and mental health. These workshops will take place across campus from 16:00-18:00 on the following dates: 6, 13, 20 August, 17, 25 September and 2 October. They will consist of both input by academics, activists, and artists, as well as interactive workshop-based activities.