Biographical details about the authors, artists and editors involved in developing the Decolonial Dialogues shared space are shown below (listed alphabetically, by last name). Additional information about these contributors’ research interests, approaches to teaching and learning, creative projects and campaign activities can also be accessed via the embedded links to their academic profiles, online portfolios, project sites and/or personal blogs.
Carol Ann Dixon, Ph.D
I am a teacher, education consultant and postdoctoral researcher with interests in African and Caribbean diaspora histories, cultural geography, museology and contemporary visual arts. My doctoral dissertation – “The ‘othering’ of Africa and its diasporas in Western museum practices” (University of Sheffield, 2016) – examined changing curatorial approaches to the display and interpretation of art objects from continental Africa and the global African diaspora in contrasting Western museum and gallery settings. A particular focus of this research involved interrogating issues of race, racism and anti-racism within institutional contexts in the UK and France – including the British Museum, Tate, Musée du quai Branly–Jacques Chirac and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Much of my postdoctoral scholarship builds on the findings of my Ph.D. research, and I am also developing a portfolio of new outputs focused on issues of (mis-)representation, omission, distortion and erasure within a range of exhibiting contexts.
In addition to contributing articles, reports, commentary pieces and co-editing content via the Decolonial Dialogues shared space, further information about my work is viewable via my personal blog, Museum Geographies.
Carol Ann Dixon (2020) Four women, for women: Caribbean diaspora artists reimag(in)ing the fine art canon, African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, 13:2, 161-176, DOI: 10.1080/17528631.2019.1701810
Carol Ann Dixon (2022) Transforming Museums, Decolonizing Minds: Three Politically Aesthetic Interventions by African Diaspora Artists, Journal of Museum Education, 47:4, 459-475, DOI: 10.1080/10598650.2022.2140554
Riadh Ghemmour, Ph.D
I am Indigenous Kabyle from Algeria holding a PhD in education from the University of Exeter. I have interests in decolonisation, critical pedagogy, Indigenous methodologies, critical theory, social justice education and antiracism. My PhD research explored research methods teaching and learning and students’ experiences of writing MA dissertations in the fields of education at a single university in Algeria. A particular focus of this research involves interrogating issues of power, voice and the reproduction of the social world in the classroom using critical pedagogy and critical theory as frameworks. A decolonising methodology grounded in an Indigenous approach was adopted in order to avoid perpetuating ‘otherness’, but rather position participants as research collaborators and educators who can shape the research selection, design, analysis and production of knowledge.
During my time at Exeter, I have worked as a student intern, research assistant, postgraduate teaching associate, and an advisor within multiple research funded projects, and also teaching on different MA courses.
I am also an associate for the MA Education Consultancy (ltd) which provides racial literacy trainings and coaching sessions for institutions and organisations trying to embed inclusive practices.
In addition, I work part-time as a coordinator for the learning skills International students at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London).
Apart from my academic interests and professional career, I like working out, food, poetry, and storytelling, with a focus on diaspora, resilience, and identity.
Maica Gugolati, Ph.D.
I am a researcher affiliated to the Institute of African Worlds (IMAF), France. I am specialized in postcolonial theories and I base my investigations on feminist and decolonial methodologies. I hold a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at Imaf, EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), PSL University, in Paris, France. My doctoral thesis offers an intersection analysis between Performance Studies and Visual Anthropology on Postcolonial societies. My focus was about the impact of visuality on the transnational performance of carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies.
I am an independent curator member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) collaborating with artists from “the Majority World” on transdisciplinary projects where the arts and research dialogue. My works are showed at the Virtual Museum of AllegraLab, and at Art Curator Grid platforms. I am a photographer and an artist; my works about decolonialzing tropical landscapes are showed by ONCA art gallery, Brighton UK, and St Andrews’ University digital gallery, Edinburgh UK. Academic information, CV and publications are available online at Academia and ORCID.
Ahmed Raza Memon Ph.D.
I am a Lecturer at Cardiff School of Law and Politics and a Research Associate at the Centre for Critical International Law, Kent Law School currently. My doctoral project, ‘Networks, international law violence: A history of a dialogical interplay’ explores a critical history of networks in international law and their violence. I bring a positionality of de-colonial thinking (Mbembe, Santos, Quijano) and engagement with issues arising in the practice of international law and its theorization. My project develops a theory of sociology of international law from the perspective and history of the global south as well as adding to conversations around governance, expertise, networks and their material implications. Through this project, I also explore the multiple levels at which law-making and governance are developed through the confluence of different socially stratifying colonialities; such as Class, Religion, Gender, Caste and Race.
In addition, I was a student group leader and coordinator for the decolonising the curriculum (2018-2020) project led by Dr. Suhraiya Jivraj at the Kent Law School. For more information on the project: https://decoloniseukc.org/ I have contributed significantly to the written monogroph based on the Project, Towards Decolonising the University: A Kaleidoscope for Empowered Action by DecolUoK collective, Ed. Suhraiya Jivraj and Dave Thomas. published by Counter Press.
As part of the project, I have also facilitated the Postgraduate research students’ decolonising research collective ( 2018-2019). As a founding member of the collective, I have organized and coordinated workshops on anti-racist, anti-sexist classroom practices.
I also co-produce and co-host the critical international law podcast ‘Fool’s utopia’ where I have interviewed leading experts and early career scholars on the power and politics of knowledge production in the international legal order. To listen to this podcast: https://soundcloud.com/user-919369831
Contact email: memonA@cardiff.ac.uk
Preferred pronouns: he/him/they/them.
Key Publication: Ahmed Raza Memon & Suhraiya Jivraj (2020) Trust, courage and silence: carving out decolonial spaces in higher education through student–staff partnerships, The Law Teacher, 54:4, 475-488, DOI: 10.1080/03069400.2020.1827777
Che Blenman (Logo designer of Decolonial Dialogues)
I am an artist and graphic designer from Trinidad & Tobago that strives to visually push my expression as much as I can. Being born in such a festive and creative Island, it has helped to mould different styles of visuals for my work. A major influence in my work is exploring the African Diaspora in different themes and messages to entertain and educate viewers of the work I project. This influence grew even more after I was fortunate to go overseas for art education. My caribbean upbringing helped me maneuver creatively and socially in such a complex world that is the US. Please find below a series of my personal visual works.
From the experience and exposure I have ventured into many mediums such as fashion, video and curating, my friends from different diasporas have developed an art collective called “thebeucollective”
(pronounced be you) available on Instagram. We express ourselves through art, design, lifestyle and music. I have also been involved in other Trinidadian artistic apparel collectives such as Long Weekend TT and MaryJanebrandTT. For further viewing of my work, cast your eyes to my instagram profile Cchemnind and also IG: Longweekendtt and medical plant based apparel IG: maryjanebrandtt.
I believe that art is the second universal language after music.
Julie Uistienne Poynsenby
I am finishing up my second year of a Ph.D. in Education, with focus on Indigenous Education, at the University of Idaho. I came here after completing an MA in Special Educational Needs at the University of Exeter. Prior to that, I was a secondary school teacher in Exeter for 16 years.I am a Research Assistant with a project called “Voices to Hear” – a National Science Foundation-sponsored collaborative project between the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, University of Idaho and State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY). The project uses the oral tradition of storytelling to empower Native American students (middle school, high school and college) to engage in environmental decision-making and scientific communication. Students create podcasts, telling a story about an environmental issue affecting their community and describing how Indigenous knowledge and Western science are both used to solve the problems. Further details can be found on our project website: https://voicestohearcdatribe.org
My own research interests are centered around engaging young people from underserved communities to have a voice and opportunities to have their voices heard. Currently I am working on a visual narrative project that asks participants to take photographs of places that have personal meaning, and to interpret those meanings in terms of identity and what it means to be Native American. My participants are young, adult members of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, with whom I have built a respectful, trusting relationship – the key to all good research!
Salma Shaka is an Austro-Palestinian, currently studying Cross-Disciplinary Strategies at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Her topics of interest include Palestinian liberation, cultural resistance, and decoloniality through the arts; storytelling in particular. Salma’s most recent works have included looking at the ways in which fiction and imaginative futures can help reclaim past narratives of indigenous cultures and peoples, providing them with a prospect for hope. Her goal is to seek and build communities within the different diasporas in Europe and around the world, collecting stories and creating a safe-space for shared experiences.