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Experiences in decolonial research and practice: in search of connection and agency 
Daniela C Beltrame (University of Manchester)
Beth Chitekwe-Biti (SDI Slum Dwellers International)
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Beth Chitekwe-Biti (SDI Slum Dwellers International)
Online/Palmer 1.11
Wednesday 28 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel will be a horizontal exchange space (one of SDI's ritualized practices for emancipatory change). It will accept submissions in varied mediums: write-ups, presentations, video, audio, visual, etc. where participants will share their experiences decolonial research and practice.

Long Abstract:

Collaborations between grassroots communities, and organisations in the development research and practice field are not without tensions and power imbalances. For low-income communities, engaging with them may mean enduring disqualification of their experiences and their knowledge. Development institutions, particularly Western institutions, and academia wield immense power to conceive what Musila refers to as "normative credibility," subjugating alternative knowledge and practice systems, in a current hegemonic order that dictates that formal development and academic institutions be the primary reference for expertise, rigour or accuracy. While some current approaches attempt to integrate these notions to build strong, horizontal collaborations with a diverse range of partners, it is still challenging to stand one's ground while developing resources for emancipatory research and practice.

However, through systematic reflection and assessment, decoloniality in research and practice challenges these assumptions and puts them in crisis. Movements and networks of historically marginalized populations, such as Slum Dwellers International (SDI), a networked space of community-based organisations present in 32 countries and hundreds of cities and towns across the so-called "global South," work tirelessly to develop and sustain both agency and connection in their work towards a pro-poor agenda. This panel aims at creating space to share experiences of decoloniality in action, especially in, but not limited to, spaces of knowledge co-production. It welcomes submissions from a wide range of mediums, centered on navigating power imbalances, creating space for counter-hegemonic narratives, and claiming and maintaining agency and decision-making power while being from historically marginalised backgrounds.

Accepted contributions:

Session 1 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -