Decolonial Subversions

Decoloniality, coloniality and mobility: A conversation with Professor Walter Mignolo


In this conversation, Leverhulme Trust Doctoral scholars Benedetta Zocchi and Manuela da Rosa Jorge reflect on the conversation they had in the beginning of 2021 with Professor Walter Mignolo about decolonial thinking, coloniality and mobility. Mignolo’s writings are a constant input of reflection in both their doctoral studies, especially because mobility has been at the centre of their research as both their projects are rooted in the premise that mobile people, objects, subjects, knowledges, ideas, structures and so on, far from be exceptions, are actually the norm. The present audio-reflection begins with some of Mignolo’s quotations from their earlier conversation as starting points for the discussion of three main issues: mobility and its relationship with coloniality/modernity through a historical approach, mobility as border thinking and Gloria Anzaldua’s “borderlands”, and finally what is Benedetta’s and Manuela’s own perception of border thinking and borderland and how they apply their understanding not just on their research but on their ways of being researchers. The central idea of this reflection is to invite listeners to a deeper reflection on such topics and to foster further discussions.

Keywords: Walter Mignolo, decolonial thinking, coloniality, mobolity

Kiswahili as a Language of Peace in an Environmentally friendly Approach


This is a call for peace with oneself, others and nature. It seeks to lead people to take responsibility for their engagements, be they with other people or with nature. It stems from a poem that was sung before a community of Congolese, Burundian and Rwandan refugees as well as local Tanzanians in Nyarugusu Refugee Settlement in Tanzania, and is titled in Kiswahili: Mazingira ni Maisha (meaning nature is life). The context is used to appeal for peace in the world. The aim is to address cross-cultural understanding using Kiswahili as a language of peace. A particularity of this speech is its twofold focus, which is, firstly, to use a language of Africa par excellence (Kiswahili) in building inter-sectorial peace among people and nations – bearing in mind that alternative means of communication are possible solutions – and, secondly, to analyse language policy issues. Any language has the ability to unite people and help solve communicational problems. This talk advocates for tolerance, equality, acceptance, care for people and the environment. Using statements by eloquent orators such as Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Adichie, it is hoped that this talk will spark a dialogue about linguistic human rights and how Kiswahili could play a positive role in Africa.

Keywords: Kiswahili, Peace, environment, Chimamanda Adichie, Common language, Kawasaki

Kiswahili kama Lugha ya Amani ya Kutunza Mazingira


Hotuba hii inataka kuleta amani moyoni mwako, kati ya mtu na wengine na kati ya mtu na mazingira. Ina wataka watu wawe na jihusisha na yale hawanabudi kuyafanya, ikiwa inahusu watu ao mazingira. Chanzo ni poemu ambayo imetamkwa mbele ya jamii ya wakongomani, warundi, wanyarwanda wakimbizi na wazalendo watanzania waliokuwa kambini Nyarugusu, kichwa cha poemu ni: Mazingira ni Maisha (meaning nature is life). Imesemwa ili kuita amani duniani. Kiini ni ku sababisha uelewano wa ki utamaduni kwa kutumia lugha ya kIswahili kuwa lugha ya amani. Ina lengo mbili inayoitofautisha: kwanza, kutumia Kiswahili lugha nzuri kabisa ya kujenga amani kati watu na mataifa – tukijuwa kuna njia zingine kilugha za kuleta suluisho kimawasiliano, pia inazungumzia mambo ya siasa ya lugha nchini. Kila lugha inaweza kuunganisha watu na kusaidia kutatuwa matatizo ya mawasiliano. Inawasii watu kuchukuliana, kuwa na umoja, kuitikana, kutunzana na kutunza mazingira. Kwa misemo ya watu waliondelea kama Chinua Achebe na Chimamanda Adichie, tunatumaini hotuba hii itaanzisha majadiliano kuhusu haki ya kilugha na vipi Kiswahili kinaweza kufanya kazi muhimu Africa.

Neno kuu: Kiswahili, Amani, Mazingira, Chimamanda Adichie, lugha moja duniani, kawas