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Identities, discrimination and violence in Africa

The Department of Leadership and Transformation (DLT) has commenced a series of Knowledge Lab workshops on transformation and knowledge as part of the transformation drive. Transformation of knowledge became the methodology of the broader transformation. DLT thus drives a knowledge-driven transformation.

The DLT is located in the Principal and Vice-Chancellor’s office and is mandated to catalyse and drive the transformation of Unisa beyond the issues of research, knowledge and scholarship. But research and scholarship are emphasised here because knowledge creates reality. Therefore, transformation in the domains of research, knowledge and scholarship enables changes in other domains.

Identities, discrimination, and violence

The workshop comprised both presentations and discussions. The presentations were as follows:

Introduction on identities, discrimination and violence

Part 1: Framing the issues
  • Paradigm of difference, will to power and paradigm of war
  • Slavery and emergence of black identity
  • Modern colonial project and coloniality of being
  • Three tormenting questions
  • Historical and discursive contexts of African identities
  • Mapping modern African identities
  • Reinventions of African identities
  • Transcendental black identities: Black consciousness and Pan-Africanism
  • Postcolonial nation-state project and reproduction of coloniality

Part 2: African identities

Part 3: Discussions: discrimination and violence
  • Racism, xenophobia and homophobia
  • Gender, sexism and gender-based violence
  • Ethnicity, regionalism and tribalism
  • Religious fundamentalism and violence

Prof Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni presented on identities, discrimination and violence in Africa, highlighting the primacy of knowledge in transformation, politics of knowledge and our consciousness, and understanding African identities, discrimination and violence.

Ndlovu-Gatsheni highlighted the primacy between transformation and knowledge. "Knowledge is one of the primary starting points for anything that we want to do in terms of transformation. Unless we get it correct in the domain of knowledge, all other things cannot move. This is because we believe that knowledge creates reality. The institution we are trying to transform is a product of a particular knowledge which created it to be the way it is today, therefore knowledge is an essential prerequisite for the transformation project. We need to repurpose our institutions to align with the transformation that we are trying to implement," says Ndlovu-Gatsheni.

Academics at Unisa must be both intellectuals and academics simultaneously - transformation needs new knowledge. The knowledge which took us to the current crisis cannot be the same knowledge that take us into the future.

You can access the presentation here.

* By the Department of Leadership and Transformation

Publish date: 2020/09/16