The College of Humanities in collaboration with Unisa’s Institute for Social and Health Sciences and the Blackhouse Kollective (Soweto) hosted the 2022 Decoloniality Winter School under the theme: Communities of Knowledge and Praxis: Decolonial Resistance and Movements.
At the forefront of the winter school – part of the UKZN Flagship Capacity Building and Training programme – are School of Education academics Dr Saajidha Sader and Professor Relebohile Moletsane.
Sader said the Winter School, which ‘brings together local and international decoloniality/anti-coloniality scholars, aims to advance the scope of the dialogue on decoloniality/ decolonisation’.
The event consisted of a series of lectures, panel discussions and workshops presented by key local and international scholars and activists. The keynote speaker for the event was Professor Nelson Maldonado-Torres of Rutgers University in the United States who together with Ms Zandi Radebe of the Blackhouse Kollective (BHK) discussed working towards the BHK paradigm of Decolonising Knowledge.
‘It was a special privilege to meet and build community with the youth as well as veteran women from the Black Consciousness Movement and the 1976 uprising. Thanks to the BHK, the Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity at UKZN, and the Institute for Social and Health Sciences at Unisa for making possible this incredible gathering, dialogue, exchange, and building’ said Maldonado- Torres.
As part of the school activities, a group of women who participated in the 1976 Soweto student uprisings, spoke on how they survived traumatic detention at the John Vorster Square police station. A documentary titled: Surviving John Vorster Square, laid bare the brutal experiences of the nine struggle heroines.
Anti-apartheid activist Ms Daphne Khoza directed the documentary and her colleague Ms Mmaguata Molefe produced it.
Other highlights of the Winter School were: discussions on Black Power in Times of Crisis: The Role of Black Intellectuals by Dr Hlulani Mdingi (Black Consciousness Movement- United (BCM-U); Indigenous Instruments as Sites of Knowledge: An Intergeneration Journey with uMakhweyane noGogBavikile by Ms Sindiswa Zulu, and a jazz and poetry session.
‘This conversation is what transpires when poetry and jazz meet each other, dipping into the deep resonances of our shared lived experiences. Grief, joy, sorrow, and love came together in this confluence of artistic expression,’ said Ms Pralini Naidoo,
The Winter School closed with a collective painting session, facilitated by
mixed media artist and UKZN student, Ms Zimasa Magudu.
The planning team this year included academics in the College of Humanities: Ms Luthando Ngema, Ms Ongezwa Mbele and Ms Fikile Vilakazi.