Accepted paper:

After the Night: a poetry-film taking a decolonial approach that seeks to disrupt power and knowledge hierarchies by centering the lived experiences of paramedics in the research and policy process


Leanne Brady (University of Cape Town)
Toni Stuart
Moira Louw (EMS services )
Abdul Waheem Martin (Metro EMS)

Paper short abstract:

Decoloniality is a political and epistemological liberation project. 'After the night' is a poetry-film that seeks to disrupt the coloniality of power, and the coloniality of knowledge by bringing the lived experiences of front-line healthcare workers into the research and policy making process.

Paper long abstract:

Decoloniality is a political, epistemological and economic liberation project that seeks to dislodge coloniality and its manifestations including the coloniality of power, and the coloniality of knowledge (Ndlovi-Gatsheni, 2013). Calls to decolonise were put back on the agenda by the #FeesMustFall student movement in 2015 and more recently, there have been calls to decolonise global health. (#decoloniseHPSR, 2018) However, while recognising the importance of the #decoloniseHPSR movement, we also need to look beyond false north-south binaries and should be cautious to not perpetuate asymmetrical power hierarchies when seeking to disrupt the colonially of power, and knowledge. The coloniality of power that exists between the global north and the global south is being increasingly critiqued (Grosfoguel, 2009; Sumathipala, 2004; Adithi 2018) but asymmetrical power relationships in research teams also play out in the global south. For example, front-line healthcare workers are rarely involved in setting the research agenda. Similarly, knowledge hierarchies and the forms of evidence that are seen as valid continue to privilege certain types of knowledge across the globe. For example, the idea of the randomised controlled trial as the 'gold standard', or the failure to recognise the value of social science perspectives in a field often dominated by clinical and epidemiological knowledge. This poetry-film seeks to disrupt some of these power and knowledge asymmetries. 'After the night' is a poetic conversation with paramedics working on the front-line and community members. The film is being used to bring the lived experiences (as valid evidence) into the policy making process. The film is available here:

back to panel A1
Disrupting health research
Decolonising health research for development [paper]