L’informe ‘Vulneracions de DDHH a la frontera sud- Melilla’ es presenta al nou Espai de l’Immigrant

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Aquest dissabte, en el marc de la jornada del primer aniversari del desallotjament de la nau del carrer Puigcerdà, que va celebrar-se al nou Espai de l’Immigrant del barri del Raval de Barcelona, es va presentarl’informe “Vulneracions de drets humans a la frontera sud- Melilla”. Aquest informe, elaborat per la Comissió d’Observadores de Drets Humans (CODH), posa fi a un projecte que va tenir el seu origen a la segona trobada Frontera Sud Melilla i Drets Humans, duta a terme a Melilla del 2 al 6 de juliol. La comissió ha estat formada per membres de la Campanya Estatal pel Tancament dels CIEs, la Coordinadora Estatal per la Prevenció i Denúncia de la Tortura (CPDT), el Grup d’Acció Comunitària (GAC) i l’Observatori del Sistema Penal i els Drets Humans de la Universitat de Barcelona (OSPDH). L’informe, dividit en cinc àrees temàtiques, pretén posar llum a la fosca situació dels drets humans que es viu a la ciutat fronterera de Melilla. Després de la introducció feta per Ana Fornés, membre de la CODH, per explicar la fonamentació i la metodologia emprades per elaborar l’informe, la resta de membres de la comissió va exposar les diferents àrees […]

Feminist Dilemmas around Sexuality and Agency

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The Centre for Humanities Research and the University of the Western Cape invites you to the second Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Lecture in African Humanities and Letters for 2014:

Nivedita Menon (University of Delhi, India)
‘Feminist Dilemmas around Sexuality and Agency’

Date: Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Time: 3 – 4:30pm
Venue: Library Auditorium, UWC

Dutch Racism

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Philomena Essed and Isabel Hoving (eds.)

Dutch Racism is the first comprehensive study of its kind. The approach is unique, not comparative but relational, in unraveling the legacy of racism in the Netherlands and the (former) colonies. Authors contribute to identifying the complex ways in which racism operates in and beyond the national borders, shaped by European and global influences, and intersecting with other systems of domination. Contrary to common sense beliefs it appears that old-fashioned biological notions of “race” never disappeared. At the same time the Netherlands echoes, if not leads, a wider European trend, where offensive statements about Muslims are an everyday phenomenon. Dutch Racism challenges readers to question what happens when the moral rejection of racism looses ground […]

Blind to colour – or just blind?

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by Achille Mbembe

The utopian ideal of a world free of the burden of race has powered the struggles of the oppressed since the advent of the modern age. It gave meaning and purpose to the campaigns for the abolition of slavery in the 19th century. It was central to the decolonisation struggle, the Civil Rights movement in the United States, and some of the radical attempts to change the world in the 20th century.

As racism has kept mutating, though, so have forms of intersections between race, class and gender. Although local in its manifestations, racism has always been a global phenomenon and part of its persistence is a result of its globalisation. Furthermore, the force of racism in our world stems from its capacity to mutate and to reappear constantly in ever-changing forms in the most unexpected sites of everyday life.

The weakness of most antiracist struggles is the result of our inability to keep up with the mutating structures of racism and their virulence. As racism worldwide takes on a genomic turn and is now propelled by the war on terror, various anti-migratory policies, the resurgence of compensatory forms of nationalism and mass incarceration, South Africa is caught between various contradictory processes. […]

Biko: A Biography

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by Xolela Mangcu

The first comprehensive biography of an exceptional and inspirational leader who changed South African history. As leading anti-apartheid activist and thinker, Biko created Black Consciousness, which has resonance to this day. His death by torture, at the hands of the police, robbed South Africa of one of its most gifted leaders. Biko’s intellectual legacy cannot be overestimated.[…]

Reclaiming Afrikan. Queer Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Identities

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Zethu Matebeni (eds.)

A collection of essays and images, Scholarly archival and critical work.

Reclaiming Afrikan: Queer Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Identities is a collaboration and collection of art, photography and critical essays interrogating the meanings and everyday practices of queer life in Africa today. In Reclaiming Afrikan authors, activists and artists from Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya and South Africa offer fresh perspectives on queer life; how gender and sexuality can be understood in Africa as ways of reclaiming identities in the continent. Africa is known to be harsh towards people with non-conforming genders and sexual identities. It is within this framework that Reclaiming Afrikan exists to respond to such violations and to offer alternative ways of thinking and being in the continent. The book appropriates “Afrika” and “queer” to affirm sexual identities that are ordinarily shamed and violated by prejudice and hatred. The use of “k” in Afrika signals an appropriation of an identity and belonging that is always detached from a “queer” person. “Queer” in this book is understood as an inquiry into the present, as a critical space that pushes the boundaries of what is embraced as normative. The artists and authors included in this text are “queer” themselves and occupy spaces that speak back to hegemony. For many, this position challenges various norms on gender, sexuality, and existence and offers a subversive way of being.

Queer African Reader

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Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas (Eds.)

As increasing homophobia and transphobia across Africa threatens to silence the voices of African Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people, the Queer African Reader brings together a collection of writings, analysis and artistic works that engage with the struggle for LGBTI liberation and inform sexual orientation and gender variance.

The book aims to engage a primarily African audience and focuses on intersectionality while including experiences from a variety of contexts including rural communities, from exile, from conflict and post-conflict situations as well as diverse religious and cultural contexts. Contributions from across the continent explore issues such as identity, tactics for activism, international solidarity, homophobia and global politics, intersections with the broader social justice movement in Africa, the feminist movement and LGBTI rights, religion and culture, reconciling the personal with the political.

Anti-racism is a struggle from below

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by David Theo Goldberg

In the age of the post-racial – of colourblindness and post-apartheid, an Obama presidency and majority rule – racist expression continues to proliferate. How is it that citizens of modern states, sometimes as agents of the state themselves, so readily engage in racist expression and practice?

One response is this, inspired by Hannah Arendt’s reflections on the Eichmann trial: racisms constitute thoughtlessness in the Arendtian sense of failing to exercise (self-)reflective critical judgment.

Those expressing themselves in racist ways and engaging in racist acts lack critical and indeed self-critical imagination, refusing or failing to take account of the other as having equal standing; they are an ignorant or arrogant refusal to consider conditions beyond one’s own.

Racisms, it could be said, are narcissisms: nihilistic self-regard of especially extreme kinds.

There is, to follow Arendt’s line, a banality to much racism, the shocking ordinariness of its everyday occurrences and the ordinariness with which its culture of shock has come to be received, to the point of oversight, neglect, a shrug. The shocking quality is buried in the ordinary, everyday, unresisting acceptance of the reduction of people to data points in the schedule of instrumental operation.[…]