The following selection of websites, blogs, and other online resources was compiled by Carol Ann Dixon to spotlight the achievements and contributions of selected individuals, collectives and organisations actively engaged in the decolonisation of knowledge, inclusive practices and the pursuit of internationally collaborative partnerships within their respective areas of creativity, scholarship and campaigning.
‘Africa* Is A Country’ [*Not the continent with 55 countries]
The website ‘Africa Is a Country’ was founded and launched in 2009 by Sean Jacobs. It features a range of opinion pieces, analytical reports, critical commentaries, art reviews and knowledge-sharing about a broad range of Africa-related topics that are under-recognized and under-covered in traditional media, new media, and other public forums. The featured articles and cultural commentaries regularly discuss intersected issues pertaining to arts and heritage, social history, geo-politics, migration and mobility, economics, science and technology, climate change and other environmental issues. All the content shared via ‘Africa Is a Country’ is open access and its information-sharing is pursued as a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit concern. The content on the platform is published with a Creative Commons Licence.
Concrete Blossom is a network and social media platform for thought provokers, iconoclasts and mediators who self-define as “social-change accelerators,” striving to make positive improvements towards greater fusion and inclusivity in our societies. Based in Rotterdam (Netherlands), their activism and creativity as artists and urbanists centralises the concept of “the transitioning city,” and involves creating spaces for collaboration, change and reciprocity with arts organisations in the Netherlands, and beyond. Some of the online and offline interventions enacted by Concrete Blossom to address issues of inclusion, equalities and social justice include: “Rewrite the Institute” [#RewritetheInstitute] and “’Decolonizing Public Space’ Through Our Shared Past and Joint Future” [‘Decolonising Public Space’ Door Gedeeld Verleden Gezamenlijke Toekomst]. For further information, visit https://www.concreteblossom.org; search for the network on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms; or email email@example.com.
Counter // Narratives of Higher Education – Arts-based Counter-Stories
Counter // Narratives of Higher Education is an exploratory initiative which brings together artists and higher education practitioners to engage in critical dialogues through which video artworks about the rich diversity of lived experiences of those from within universities are co-created. Background information about the project’s inception and aims foregrounds a commitment toward the democratization of higher education institutions world-wide, in recognition of the following systemic inequalities and histories of exclusion:
“Central to the history of universities across the globe, and the continued systemic problems and barriers it enacts on people and places, are colonial and imperial notions of quality as exclusion and sameness, and the concurrent delegitimation of knowledges and ways of being that do not fit with the western-oriented university’s image of itself.”
Collectively, the audio-visual and image-based artworks featured on the site – as well as the curated texts associated with them – contribute to the dissemination of more nuanced and inclusive counter-narratives of higher education. For further information, please visit the ‘Counter // Narratives’ site at https://counternarrativefilm.wixsite.com/counter
and see also also the related Higher Education Studies Archive.
D’Ailleurs et D’Ici [D&D News]
D’ailleurs et d’ici [D&D News] is an online magazine – also available in print – that publishes a broad range of journalism, scholarly articles, creative writing, visual artworks, podcasts, videos and other audio-visual materials about issues of cultural diversity and broader multi-social agendas within France. The web-based version was first developed in 2012 by MultiKulti Media and its main thematic pages feature regular commentaries, photography, documentary film footage and other media addressing issues of anti-racism and intersectional campaigns against the multiple manifestations of discrimination, marginalisation, exclusion and xenophobia within contemporary France. In recent months the site has published content about: African and Asian diaspora histories and heritage in France; the lived experiences of Roma and Traveller communities; commentaries about religious diversity, written from French Muslim and Jewish faith perspectives; and articles on LGBTQ+ equalities. The editorial and design team behind D’ailleurs et d’ici includes: Marc Cheb Sun, Charles Cohen, Jacques Mendy, Aziz Oguz, Patricia Jezequel, Alberick Tode, Marie Vanaret, Gérard Bourgeois, Zaïa Khennouf and Claudine Rigal. The site also features regular contributions from the following leading journalists: Maral Amiri, Aurélia Blanc, Myriam Boukhobza, Ludovic Clerima, Charles Cohen, Pascale Colisson, Rokhaya Diallo, Bilguissa Diallo, Oufia Djebien, Réjane Éreau, Idir Hocini, Aziz Oguz, Lisa Serero, Véronique Valentino, and Chloé Goodenhoft.
‘Decolonization in Action’: Podcast Project
– Created by Edna Bonhomme, Ph.D. and Kristyna Comer – Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Berlin, Germany.
“Decolonization in Action is a podcast project that interrogates decolonization in the arts, sciences, and beyond. The podcast focuses on how decolonization is being put into action today. While calls for decolonizing science, education, and museums are becoming more prominent, knowledge practices of western academia and of present-day colonizing nation states remain largely unchanged. In conversation with historians, activists, artists, and curators, this podcast aims to unravel how decolonization is understood, and most importantly to give attention to how decolonization is being practiced today.”
Further information and links to all episodes of the podcast (since its launch in 2019) can be accessed online via the ‘Decolonization in Action’ website. Please see, also, the online profiles for activist, historian, writer, curator, and lecturer Dr Edna Bonhomme and art historian and cultural studies researcher Kristyna Comer.
‘Diary of a Border Being,’ by Emeka Okereke
‘Diary of a Border-Being: musings in the in-between spaces of socio-cultural conflations’ is the web space of Emeka Okereke – a Nigerian photographic artist, film-maker and writer who lives and works between Africa and Europe. Emeka describes his creative practice as “oscillat[ing] between diverse mediums” to “grapple with questions of exchange and co-existence in the context of various social-cultural confluences.” Many of the projects documented as illustrated postings within Emeka’s ‘Diary of a Border Being’ discuss the diverse aesthetic, cultural and art-political interventions he has pursued to encourage collaborative and creative exchanges across indigenous and international platforms – including the ground-breaking initiative Invisible Borders Trans-African Project. In 2018 Emeka Okereke was awarded a ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres’ by the French Ministry of Culture.
Invisible Borders Trans-African Project: https://invisible-borders.com/
ENPAD: The European Network of People of African Descent
ENPAD is a trans-European network of Black-led, community based organisations in Europe, who work collectively to share knowledge, campaign together and push for the political empowerment and representation of People of African Descent throughout continental Europe. The ENPAD website provides links to the websites of 15 affiliated organisations – including the IDPAD Coalition UK, and the New Urban Movement in the Netherlands. ENPAD’s current Executive Director is the human rights campaigner Esther Mamadou, and the guiding principle underpinning the network’s activities is: “Nothing about Us, without Us”.
The Global Citizen website promotes the activities of an international movement of campaigners and activists (“engaged citizens”) who are using their collective voice to end extreme poverty by 2030. The organisation was founded in 2008, has its headquarters in New York, USA, and has additional offices in Canada, South Africa, Australia, Germany, and the UK.
The Incluseum is a project based in Seattle (Washington, USA) that advances new ways of being a museum through critical dialogue, community building and collaborative practice related to inclusion in museums. The Incluseum is facilitated and coordinated by Aletheia Wittman and Rose Paquet. Site readers who visit https://incluseum.com/ are welcome to contact the project’s co-founders to inquire about collaborating with the Incluseum on long-term projects, strategic planning, and also submitting content as a guest contributor. The contact email for all correspondence is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Research Partnerships
The network builds on existing international partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers who engage in shaping research praxis and knowledge production through challenging colonial practices and celebrate local knowledge systems.
Nothing But the Wax
Nothing But the Wax is a French new media website that celebrates and tells the untold stories of 21st century young adults with African heritage (“afrodescendant black millennials”) – living in France, and internationally as part of the global francophone African diaspora. The site was initially launched in 2010 by its founder and editor-in-chief, Chayet Chiénin, as the first specialised blog for African fashion and styling histories and heritage created in France. Over the past decade, Nothing But the Wax has expanded to feature a broader selection of blogs, vlogs and scholarly insights about diverse aspects of African and diasporic visual and performing arts, lifestyle, fashion and design, aesthetic trends, societal changes and heritage diversity. All the featured content is now available online in French and English.
Website: French version [traduction française] http://nothingbutthewax.com/ / English version [traduction anglaise] http://nothingbutthewax.com/en/
PRAVINI- The Uprising
Pravini Baboeram is a Dutch-Indian singer/songwriter activist who espouses a decolonial lens in her works, projects and music. She is currently developing a music documentary called ‘The Uprising’ which highlights empowering self-determination and resistance against racism in Europe. To do so, Pravini collected inspiring stories from academics and activists who shared their current and past experiences with racism, but also provided and imagined a different future grounded in an anti-racist and decolonial movement. The project is still in the making and will be released soon to the public. Pravini is also developing and Educational Toolkit based on the film for educators to engage people in the process of decolonising the mind. The toolkit will be available next September. Pravini is also reachable on Twitter for up-to-date tweets and information.
‘Race’ and Space – A New Curriculum
‘Race’ and Space is the title of a new curriculum that was developed by a team of London-based scholars at The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment. Launched in 2020, the resource was designed in response to specific needs expressed by staff and students within Higher Education for increased access to pedagogic approaches and resources that foster greater understanding of ‘race’ – in relation to the built environment – and address demand for practical sources of support for teachers and learners.
The curriculum contains an annotated bibliography structured around six themes that explore aspects of ‘race’ and space. Each chapter gives four core academic readings to introduce key concepts, and 10 films, novels, poems, art works, podcasts and other media as illustrative material. The diverse cultural resources assembled within this curriculum were specifically curated in an attempt to make knowledge widely accessible and facilitate “transformative thinking within the academy.”
To view the full-text of this 40-page resource, please visit The Bartlett’s website, and freely download ‘Race’ and Space in PDF format (File size: 2.6 MB).
Zewolde, S., Walls A., Sengupta, T., Ortiz, C., Beebeejaun, Y., Burridge, G. and K. Patel (2020), ‘Race’ and Space: What is ‘race’ doing in a nice field like the built environment? London: The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment.
UN Decade Dedicated to People of African Descent
The General Assembly of the United Nations declared the years 2015-2024 as a Decade Dedicated to People of African Descent. This designation, and its associated Programme of Activities (PDF format) has helped to raise awareness that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected – particularly in view of the persistent discrimination, structural disparities and inequalities faced as a result of historical and present-day legacies of enslavement, imperialism, colonial violence and multiple experiences of racism. Online research resources published via the United Nations approximate that more than 200 million people living in the Americas self-identify as being of African descent, in addition to communities based in continental Africa, and millions more live in other parts of the world throughout Europe, Asia and Australasia. The UN’s website features a wide range of reports, documentary films, digital photograph collections and other multi-media resources to enable justice advocates, rights activists and educators around the world support the full, equal and effective participation of people of African descent in public and political affairs without discrimination, in accordance with international human rights law.
All future contributors to the Decolonial Dialogues site will be writing summaries and feature articles about other groups of artists, researchers, educators and campaigners to expand this selection. We also welcome additional suggestions about online resources shared by site visitors and readers. Everyone is welcome to send responses, observations and ideas via the feedback form – Your Voice – available on this site, and/or leave a reply in the response box, shown below.