Taiwan World Convention 2022
Black Lives Matter: Global Recognition and Change
Tuesday March 22, 1pm - 5.25pm (TWT)
University of Leeds, England/Africa
The Media and Racialisation of Africa During COVID-19: A Critical Assessment
The media in the West have historically portrayed Africa as a hopelessly dark continent and the land of chaos and poverty whose redemption lies solely in imbibing the ‘civilised’ ideologies and practices of the West. This stereotypical portrayal seemed to have altered marginally in postmodernity as new media empowered Africans to self-represent and the creative industries in Africa attained international recognition and gave voice and visibility to home-grown talent and professional class. This presentation argues that the media in the West reverted to demonisation and stereotyping in their portrayal of Africa at specific phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing examples from the public discourse about the Omicron variant, the presentation demonstrates that ‘Africa’ was not contented to be at the receiving end, but it instead initiated rebuttals and self-representation that resulted not only in a more nuanced media discourse but also positive political developments.
Danielle Pereira Araújo
University of Coimbra, Portugal/Brazil
Polysemy of Freedom
The main objective of this presentation is to reflect on the meanings of freedom from the contributions of Beatriz Nascimento (1976; 1977; 1981; 1987), Sylvia Wynter (1976; 1992; 2003; 2006), Saidiya Hartman (1997; 2020), Barnor Hesse (2000; 2011; 2014) and Lewis Gordon (2021). The attempt to escape the colonial denial of our capacity for self-inscription often collides with the mental structures that we sometimes resort to for such a task and which are based on “sanctioned theories” (Wynter, 1992). In this sense, we will seek to reflect on the black production of new codes that have confronted the limits of the political horizon of freedom from the western-European-white-colonial framework. In the light of black thought, we intend to discuss how the political approaches inscribed from “multiculturalism”, “humanism”, “interculturality”, “integration”, “inclusion”, “citizenship”, “democracy” reproduce the so-called colonial universalist freedom, never relinquishing Western links (even if unnamed) with racial slavery and the colonial structure (Hesse, 2017). In this sense, from the political categories of “quilombola peace” (Nascimento, 1977), “autopoiesis (Wynter, 1976), “infrapolitical” (Hartman, 1997), “black fugitivity” (Hesse, 2014) and “liberation for” (Gordon, 2021), we will reflect on the “theoretical-political” implications of the denial of reproduction of Western canons on freedom and how those formulations radically confront the siege imposed by the capitalist state and international bodies around the possibilities of reconfiguration of the meanings of freedom outside the colonial framework.
Sheffield Hallam University, England
Protest, Equality and Grievability: What does it mean to matter?
In May 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, protests swept across America and extended to the UK and many other nations. Perhaps galvanised by the sheer brutality of George Floyd’s murder; perhaps compounded by the collective psychological impact of Covid-19, his death sparked a response of collective action in America, not seen since the civil rights era. Under the mantra of ‘Black Lives Matter’, UK demonstrations took place in more than 150 towns and cities and have led to something of a continued national and global conversation, a refusal to step away from confronting issues of systemic racism. Yet, in the face of increasingly widespread public protest which demands change and gives voice to collective rage and of grief, there is also an attempt to reject and/or delegitimise this protest movement, instead promoting a counter narrative that ‘All Lives Matter’. Such claims are painful and, understandably, they are often disregarded as the language of racists. Yet the simplicity and seeming equality in the claim that ‘all lives matter’ holds easy rhetorical appeal for many and is therefore a ready tool of discursive oppression. If our collective ambition is to deliver racial equality, we need to seek ways of responding and deconstructing such rhetoric. In this talk I draw on the work of Judith Butler to explore the concept of ‘mattering’ and to consider what it means for a life to matter and the role of protest in the pursuit of equality. Through such considerations, I suggest in this presentation that it is possible to open up new spaces for debate about racial justice and equality, and why protest is an essential condition of peace.
Chinwe Stella Egbunike-Umegbolu
University of Brighton, England/Nigeria
The Chronicles of the Pre-Colonial Method of Settling Disputes: Nigeria as a Case Study
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process has been going through phases of advancement worldwide from the late 1960s to date. Within Africa, the concept of ADR is gaining immense popularity and significance; Nigeria is the given context.
Hence to understand Nigeria’s legal system, it is imperative to view ADR through the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial legal transition. The presenter provides a detailed analysis on the above subject matter by examining two towns respectively as a case study, located in the south-eastern part of Nigeria namely: Onicha-Ado n’ Idu in Anambra State and Amaofuo in Imo State. The work was conducted in Amaofuo and Onitsha respectively to get a detailed description from the monarchs on how they settle disputes. Further, this work focuses on the overview of the ADR processes and the Nigerian legal system as it relates to ADR. It critically analysed whether the Traditional African Method of Settling Disputes (TAMSD) evolved to ADR? And how far this model of dispute resolution has thrived in the aftermath of colonisation in Nigeria. For this basis alone, could the ‘court-connected ADR or ADR’ be regarded as a ‘legal transplant?’
Finally, the work, in line with socio-legal research, utilised the qualitative approach for data gathering and analysis. It concludes with why the Traditional African Method of Settling Dispute (TAMSD) is still potent and effective while at the same time highlighting some of the similarities with the modern ADR.
University of Bradford, England
Promoting Justice and Inclusion for All: A Social Work Perspective
Social Work, it could be argued, has a historical root dating from the Poor Law which heralded distinctions between people who were considered vagrants or who were physically or mentally ‘incapable’. As a profession its more modern heritage lies within the development of mass urban poverty and is linked inextricably with charity work prevalent among the dislocated and impoverished communities from industrialisation.
The roles and titles have changed through the journey from charitable work, philanthropy and the establishment of Local Authority Social Services Departments in the 1970s, but this paper considers that the needs of the people the profession of social work serves, has remained sadly constant throughout.
Social Work as a Modern global professions and academic discipline seeks to promote:
‘…social change and development, social cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people.’ (International Federation of Social Workers, 2014).
The central tenets of the profession being social justice, human rights, and respect for diversity.
In the United Kingdom the governing body is Social Work England and its professional standards rightly reflect these with the promoting of rights, strengths and wellbeing of people being paramount.
What this presentation will do is explore how the legal and policy framework within the UK and the resultant statutory roles enables them to do this. It will focus on people who experience mental disorder, especially those over-represented in services such as people from black backgrounds. It will consider people with a physical disability or learning disability and evaluate the success or otherwise of the inclusion agenda from a UK perspective.
Forcera CIC, England
Racism, Social Justice and Capitalism: a Systems Perspective
There is no denying that those from the Global Majority face the consequences of race/racism both overtly and covertly on a daily basis but is the current focus on social justice advocacy the means to the end? In this presentation, I will discuss that race/racism are not mere social justice issues as their outcomes are a creation and a commodity of the capitalist system and have not only been used to shape the economy and politics but have also spawned direct and indirect industries, from diversity training to best selling books (direct); from musical genres to clothing styles (indirect). I will discuss that by overly focusing on race/racism as a social justice issue that can be overcome through demonstrating, alliance, education and metaphors such as 'diversity', 'inclusion' or 'equity' misses the point that the capitalist system is doing what it was designed to and is doing it very well (POSIWID, Stafford Beer). The socio-economic disconnects and divides that we see amongst those from the Global Majority are not byproducts of race/racism, as they are often positioned, but are outcomes due to the interconnectedness of the three pillars of the capitalist system: wealth (not just from bottom to top but within groups and subgroups at all levels, otherwise known as class), economics and politics. The way these work together creates or decreases power regardless of identity, which cannot be eradicated by social advocacy alone. I suggest that it is only when we situate race/racism in relation to the capitalist system that their true nature can be understood and solutions found because as in the words of Angela Davis ''...racism is intrinsic to capitalist social relations, and one will not be abolished without the other".