Decolonial Subversions

Our partners are an integral and indispensable part of the Decolonial Subversions Team. We work closely with an international group of Institutional Partners and Language Partners, who are profoundly committed to decolonialisation.

Institutional Partners

Decolonial Subversions emerges from the concern that knowledge production and scholarly publishing remain enmeshed within power hierarchies emanating from colonial legacies and the economic disparities between nations and groups of people. Despite the work of many in western higher education to encourage more egalitarian practices, the continuance of existing structural constraints and power asymmetries perpetuates the dominance of Anglo-American epistemology. With Decolonial Subversions we aim to reverse this by implementing new ways to decentralise knowledge production and publication.

We have developed and envisage implementing a rotational editorial model, whereby the platform’s annual publication cycle shifts across partner institutions with whom we establish relationships of trust. To ensure that the platform does not lose its direction and does not become co-opted by forces that lie beyond our control (e.g. local politics that influence or constrain our partner institutions), the Founding Editors work closely with the Annual Editor(s) to ensure that practices reflect at all times the values and protocols of Decolonial Subversions, stepping in to provide advice where needed. However, Annual Editors lead with the identification of priority issues, issue the Call for Papers and produce the editorial and other outputs autonomously.

If you are interested in leading a future annual publication cycle, please contact us to initiate the collaboration. Our modus operandi is based on relationships of mutual respect and trust and we reserve the right to decline offers where we feel that such relationships have not been achieved.

Convivial Thinking

What is the Convivial Thinking Collective?
We are an open group of people from all around the world, thinking, working and writing, collaborating and networking together. Convivial Thinking as a platform seeks to give space to inclusive, interdisciplinary and alternative approaches towards mainstream methods of knowledge production, especially in the context of ‘development’.

Why Convivial Thinking?
The term conviviality is used in many different contexts. For us, it means equity, mutual respect for each other and the natural world, and assuming joint responsibility for the ways we live, act and engage. In creating a space for convivial thinking we want to make a humble attempt to break the cycle of dichotomous reproduction of Us/Them, West/Rest, developed/underdeveloped, and the endless reproduction of reformers and those to be reformed.

What does the Convivial Thinking platform offer?
Convivial Thinking offers spaces for discussion and debate, and for collaboration and co-construction beyond the boundaries of academic hierarchies, ethnicity, origin, gender, and financial and visa restrictions. Keeping in line with the spirit of post- and decolonial scholarship and activism, the platform seeks to provide space and authority to authors, artists, writers, poets and thinkers who want to convey their messages via an informal, open-source medium.

How to engage?
Check out the website: there are collaboratively authored publication projects, regular online webinar sessions, our decolonial online reading group and an ongoing open call for contributions to the blog.

Project dldl/ድልድል: Bridging religious studies, gender & development and public health to address domestic violence in religious communities

Project dldl/ድልድል is a UKRI-funded project dedicated to the development and strengthening of religio-culturally sensitive domestic violence alleviation systems in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the UK. The project seeks to promote a decolonial approach to addressing domestic violence in religious communities by engaging substantively with the religio-cultural belief systems of the victims/survivors and the perpetrators, and understanding how these interface with gender, material and psychological parameters. It seeks to generate new research and intervention approaches working with Ethiopian and Eritrean collaborators, and to inform approaches for integrating and better-supporting ethnic minority and migrant populations affected by domestic violence in the UK.

dldl/ድልድል means 'bridge' in the Tigrigna language, and reflects the project's aim of bridging different disciplines, sectors and stakeholders and encouraging South–North knowledge exchange. Its objective is to reverse the historical dominance of Northern societies in dictating practices internationally within domestic violence and gender-based violence research and practice.

The project is hosted at the School of History, Religions and Philosophies at SOAS University of London and is led by Dr Romina Istratii, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. It involves eight academic and non-governmental collaborators in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the UK, which support or lead on different project activities on the ground, and numerous independent specialists and technical partners.

The project publishes freely accessible content on its multilingual website and dedicated Vimeo account and administers the mail list DV-Gender-Faith on JISCMAIL, to which everyone interested in the topic is welcome to subscribe.

Language Partners

Decolonial Subversions publishes in the languages that are most representative of the worldviews of the researchers and of the people who are the protagonists of such research, in addition to English. Translation is a complex process that requires more than linguistic skill, as it has to bridge often-different cosmological frameworks without reducing one to the other.

As such, we have a team of experienced, multilingual Language Partners who provide guidance on linguistic matters and contribute to the expansion of our network of Translators.

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:

Elias Gebrselasse

Elias Gebrselassie was born in Ethiopia, in a city named Arba Minch. He grew up in a particularly religious family and as a child took some of the traditional education given by his Church.

He finished his primary and secondary education in Arba Minch and Wolayta. His first degree was in applied chemistry, from Ambo University. After graduation he worked as a chemistry teacher and unit leader for four years in a private school.

His mother tongue is Amharic but in addition he speaks English and some Wolaytigna, a language spoken in Wolayita.

He is a fifth-year theology student at Holy Trinity Theological University at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Elias can be reached at

Gustav Mbeha

Gustav Mbeha is originally from Namibia but lives in Cape Town.

He did a BA Hons degree at the Polytechnic of Namibia. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town. He also holds an MA in Linguistics from the same university.

His area of study is sociolinguistics, with particular focus on Bantu languages. He is interested in the semantic structures of languages, noun class systems, phonetics, lexicon and the grammatical structures of Bantu languages.