Decolonial Subversions
Our Contributors

In addition to publishing written, acoustic and visual Decolonial Subversions, we aim to be a platform where like-minded people from all walks of life and subject areas can connect, forge friendships and initiate collaborations. Below is a list of the Contributors to Decolonial Subversions, with their short bios. If you wish to get in touch with any of them, either contact them directly or, where their email is missing, contact either Monika (mh121@soas.ac.uk) or Romina (ri5@soas.ac.uk) with a request to be connected.


João Araió

João Araió is a journalist, poet, filmmaker and visual artist. Based in Rio de Janeiro, he has integrated several collectives working in community communication, cultural production, human rights and popular education.

Since 2012, he has photographed the daily life of several favelas in Rio and, between 2017 and 2018, has had photographs included in the exhibition, ‘Dja Guata Porã: Indigenous Rio’, at the Rio Art Museum. In 2019, he directed the short film: The real places are not on the map and co-directed the virtual reality short film, Decolonise your eyes, which was shown at the UN General Assembly.

Currently, he is the pedagogical coordinator of GatoMídia, a network and methodology for learning in art, communication and technology aimed at young black people from favelas. The focus of his work is the research of narratives and visual memories of traditional, peripheral and diaspora communities.


Suyash Barve

Suyash Barve studied film direction and screenwriting in India, after which he worked as an associate producer and media consultant, before switching to academics to concentrate on his long-term interest in working in participatory media for social development.

His cinematic and written work explores the technological mediation of everyday existence in urban spaces, and the cultural politics of resistance in digital leisure activities.

Currently, Suyash is working on an independent research project focused on social media engagement and the political mobilisation of urban youth from low-income communities in Mumbai. Suyash can be reached at: suyashbarve@gmail.com


Shaka Keny Bob

Shaka Keny Bob is a PhD candidate in sociology and is currently based at the Department of Sociology, Stellenbosch University. His research interests are centred on informal employment, poverty and inequality, education and decolonial theory, survey design and urban governance.

His work for the past five years has focused on informal employment in countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa and he has worked for the Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing organisation at an international level. He holds a master’s in social policy and labour studies, which was awarded with cum laude at Rhodes University in 2020.


Elisée Byelongo

Dr Byelongo Elisée Isheloke is a PhD holder in Management Sciences specialising in Business Administration from the Durban University of Technology. Among other things, he obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and qualifications in pedagogy and language teaching. With over fourteen years’ experience as an educator, Elisée works at the University of Cape Town as a postdoctoral research fellow (Minerals to Metals Initiative) and he was recently added to the UCT linguistics group.

He used also to work as a sworn interpreter, and as a translator at the Alliance Française and the Durban Magistrate Court.

His proficiency in English, French, Swahili, Esperanto and African languages (e.g. Ebembe) gave impetus to his publishing in academic journals and other fora. He worked as a web journalist for the Mining IR team during the Mining Indaba, the outcome of which gave birth to around ten articles. Elisée has two books under his name and a variety of publications.

He now looks forward to decolonising research by all means. Elisée can be reached at: ebyelongo@gmail.com


Veronica Calarco

Veronica Calarco is an artist printmaker who has recently been awarded a PhD in printmaking at Aberystwyth University.

Calarco is a co-director of Aberystwyth Printmakers and founder of artist in residence programme Stiwdio Maelor. After completing a degree in printmaking and a postgraduate degree in weaving at the Australian National University, Calarco worked at the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and Tjukkurpa Aboriginal Arts Centre before moving to Wales to study the Welsh language (being awarded the Dan Lyn James scholarship) and complete the PhD.

Calarco has participated in exhibitions and residencies since the 1990s and completed significant community art projects in Australia and the UK.


Vincenzo Cammarata

Vincenzo Cammarata is a freelance translator, interpreter and private language teacher (Italian, Portuguese and Spanish), as well as foreign news editor for the Liverpool-based company KVH Media.

Vincenzo was awarded a PhD in Angolan literature by King’s College London, with a thesis investigating how endogenous oral practices decolonise the language used in Angolan short fiction and support a sense of nationhood.

Broadly speaking, Vincenzo researches linguistic, literary and philosophical decolonial behaviours and approaches in order to transversally promote them within contemporary academic debates.


Manuela da Rosa Jorge

Manuela da Rosa Jorge is a Leverhulme Doctoral Scholar in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London (UK). Manuela’s doctoral thesis explores European policies that are designed to regulate and control human mobility. She is particularly interested in expulsion policies and the consequences for those subjected to such instruments, as well as in the narratives of policies and the misuse of human rights and humanitarian discourses on the part of the EU in pursue of its policy goals.

Manuela is currently on the Editorial Board for Millennium: Journal of International Studies.


Márton Demeter

Márton Demeter is an associate professor at the National University of Public Service in Budapest, Hungary. Márton studies global academic inequalities, transnational knowledge production and the uneven accumulation of global symbolic and academic capital.

In his studies he mainly focuses on social sciences in general and on communication and media studies in particular, as the latter is one of the most biased disciplines in terms of both educational networks and international publication patterns. Márton also analyses journalism practices beyond the western world in general, and in the central and eastern European regions in particular.

His research has been widely published in leading periodicals of the field such as Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Communication, Journalism, Journalism Practice or Publishing Research Quarterly. Márton can be reached at demeter.marton@uni-nke.hu


Aleksandrs Dmitrenko, PhD

Former postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Heidelberg University. PhD, Department of Chinese and History (City University of Hong Kong), Hong Kong; 2013, MA in Chinese Studies (National Yunlin University of Science and Technology), Douliu, ROC; 2010, BA in Humanities, Asian Studies (University of Latvia), Riga, Latvia. Research interests: the history of the Orthodox Church in China, Christianity in China, Sino-Foreign relations, Chinese Bible translations. Selected publications: Dmitrenko A. 'The Image of Russia and the West in Chinese History Textbooks, 1900–1949' in Gotelind Muller and Nikolay Samoylov (eds): Chinese Perceptions of Russia and the West: Changes, Continuities, and Contingencies during the Twentieth Century. Heidelberg: CrossAsia-eBooks, 2020, 29–72 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11588/xabooks.661; Dmitrenko A. 'The Intellectual Approach of Chinese Academia towards the Orthodox Church' International Journal of Sino-Western Studies Vol. 14, 2018, pp. 17–26; Dmitrenko A. 'Translation of Catechetical Literature as Basis for Preaching Christianity in China' (Rus). Issues of Far Eastern Literatures. Conference Materials. Vol. II, ed. A. A. Rodionov, A.G. Starozhuk, Jiang Zhengang. Saint Petersburg: NP-Print, 2016, pp. 30–38.


Monika Hirmer

Monika Hirmer is a PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London, in the Department of Religions and Philosophies. She is also a teaching assistant for the course ‘The Margins of Philosophy: Postcolonial, Gender and Queer Epistemologies’.

Trained as an anthropologist at the University of Hyderabad, India, from where she obtained her MPhil, her research is at the intersection of ethnography and philosophy, to which she applies a decolonial perspective.

Her research interests lie in South Asia, anthropology, decolonial studies, Tantra and Śrīvidyā, Goddess traditions, ontology and gender. Monika can be reached at mh121@soas.ac.uk


Romina Istratii

Dr Romina Istratii is an honorary research associate at SOAS and has previously co-edited the SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research.

She is an active member of the Decolonising SOAS Working Group and a firm advocate of epistemological decolonisation. Romina can be reached at ri5@soas.ac.uk


Alison Ruth Kolosova, PhD

Alison Ruth Kolosova gained her BA in Russian and French (Faculty of Foreign Languages, Durham University, UK) and later studied theology at the St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Paris. Her PhD thesis (Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, UK) focused on Nikolai Il`minskii and the influence of Orthodox missions on the ethnic and religious identity of the Turkic and Finno-Ugric peoples of Russia's Mid-Volga region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She has been a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Tartu, Estonia from 2018 to 2020. She co-chairs the Missiology Group of the International Orthodox Theological Association and is on the European Board of the International Association for Mission Studies. Since 1996, Alison has lived in the Chuvash Republic, Russia where she has served as choir director and catechist, and been involved in the prison ministry of the Russian Orthodox Church.


Giridhar Rao

At Azim Premji University, India, A. Giridhar Rao teaches courses on language policy, language pedagogy, linguistic human rights, Esperanto and linguistic democracy, and science fiction.

He blogs on these themes (in English) at http://bolii.blogspot.com/ and (in Esperanto) at http://www.ipernity.com/blog/giridhar/. Giridhar can be reached at rao.giridhar@apu.edu.in


Alena Rettová

Professor Alena Rettová is professor of African and comparative philosophy at SOAS, University of London. Her research focuses on philosophical expression in African languages.

Her book Afrophone Philosophies: Reality and Challenge (2007) examined texts in six African languages. Chanter l'existence: La poésie de Sando Marteau et ses horizons philosophiques (2013) analysed sung poetry in the Congolese variety of Swahili from the region of Lubumbashi (DRC). She is currently working on a monograph on the conceptualisations of non-human reality in Swahili scholarship.

From April 2020, Alena will lead a team of seven researchers, funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant entitled ‘Philosophy and Genre: Creating A Textual Basis for African Philosophy’ and hosted by the University of Bayreuth in Germany. Alena's team will interrogate the role of textual genre in the communication of philosophical meanings, with case studies drawing on eight languages (Ciluba, Swahili, Shona, Lingala, Kinyarwanda, Wolof, French and English) and several textual genres (the essay, the novel, digital texts such as blogs and social media, scenario planning narratives, and multiple genres of poetry).


Lavinya Stennett

Lavinya is a recent graduate from SOAS, writer and CEO of The Black Curriculum. Her interests around Black history began while studying her degree in development and African studies.

During her year abroad in Aotearoa, she began researching and writing about place and identity in Black and indigenous histories.

She was recently awarded the Walter Rodney prize and holds the position as #2 UK Future Leader, by Powerful Media. Lavinya can be reached at info@lavinyastennett.co.uk


Very Rev Fr Evangelos Thiani

Very Rev Fr Evangelos Thiani is a senior protopresbyter of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, serving the African Orthodox Church of Kenya, in the Orthodox Archdiocese of Nairobi. He is currently the director of Theological Advancement, Interfaith and Ecumenical Relations for his church.

Fr Evangelos is married to Lucy and they have four beautiful children. They reside in Dagoretti Market in the outskirts of Nairobi.

He has undergraduate degrees in theology, divinity, and counselling psychology, as well as graduate and postgraduate degrees in theology, development studies and education. His studies were completed in various countries including Kenya, the US, Australia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Finland, where he just submitted his doctoral dissertation for defence at the University of Eastern Finland.

Fr Thiani is currently a senior lecturer of practical theology, public theology and development studies in various institutions including the Orthodox Patriarchal Seminary in Riruta, Nairobi, which serves all the dioceses of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, and at Bishop Gathuna Theological Institute in Kiambu, Kenya. He has also served in various academic capacities including as the dean and rector of various Orthodox colleges in Kenya.

Away from academia and the church, Fr Evangelos serves in various forums including as the national chairperson for the Side-by-Side Faith for Gender Justice Movement, Kenya Chapter, the African representative of the Gender Reference Team within ACT Alliance Global, as well as being a board member of the Kiambu County Assembly Service Board and a member of the Board of Management of Kiambu High School.

Read Fr Thiani’s publications at his ORCiD: 0000-0002-3460-2427.


Antonela Soledad Vaccaro

Antonela Soledad Vaccaro is a postgraduate student from Argentina. She is finishing her master’s degree in language management in Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero.

She is currently investigating the changes in language policies of South African universities after student protests and she participates in investigations related to Afro-descendants in South America.


Benedetta Zocchi

Benedetta Zocchi is a researcher, activist and writer. Her work broadly focuses on various layers of connection between coloniality and Eurocentric geopolitical and epistemic border-making.

Her past research explored links between migration and colonial amnesia in Italy and the discursive re-activations of colonial consciousness in integration policymaking in France and the UK. Her current project focuses on practices of European coloniality at EU borders, with particular attention to the overlapping forms of exclusion and marginalisation on the frontier between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

Her intellectual approach is informed by the intersection between political activism, critical thinking and epistemic disobedience. Since 2019, Benedetta has been completing her PhD as a Leverhulme Doctoral Scholar at Queen Mary University of London (UK). She also writes freelance for multiple magazines across Italy and the UK.