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The Race and Development Working Group is pleased to facilitate a three-part Roundtable Series on the nexus between race and development, with particular emphasis on racialised ways of knowing development; racial capitalism, imperialism and development; race, racism and the everyday in development.
Critical scholars have traced the colonial origins of development thought, copying its racist tendencies and racialised anxieties onto a postcolonial world. Yet, within development policy and academic circles, until recently, there has been silence about the entanglements of race, racism and development. These spaces have been characterised by a passionate denial of the ways in which racial discrimination and colonial violence have continued to shape the everyday practices of development. As Gloria Wekker points out, however, "the point of not knowing, racial ignorance, and white innocence has long passed."
Recent #BlackLivesMatter protests have highlighted the continuation of racial injustice in the aid sector, raised questions about what this means for development studies and aid agencies and called for a direct engagement with these issues. Roundtable 3 of the Race and Development Roundtable Series aims to further our understanding of how power and privilege function within development agencies and the embodied experience of racialisation for aid workers, communities and individuals who are the so-called targets of aid. While focusing on racialised dynamics of the aid world, we will also employ intersectional analysis to unpick these continued entanglements by addressing the following provocations:
1) How do race and racism shape everyday development practice and academic spaces?
2) How does racialised power circulate throughout the aid architecture to reproduce inequality and injustice?
3) Can employing an intersectional interpretative lens help us move beyond essentialist binaries to gain a deeper understanding of how different relationships and temporalities intersect in 'development spaces'?