The Hub for Decolonial Feminist Psychologies in Africa

08 August 2022 | Words Elske Joubert. Photos Lerato Maduna.

The Hub for Decolonial Feminist Psychologies in Africa recently launched their book, Pan-Africanism and Psychology in Decolonial Times, by Shose Kessi, Floretta Boonzaier and Babette Stephanie Gekeler. The launch took place on 4 August at the Department of Psychology on the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) upper campus.

“For me, not only does this book offer a much-needed exploration of the contribution that Pan-African thought, politics and cultural movements can make to psychology, the book is also a site of radical healing,” said Skye Chirape, a PhD in psychology candidate. “It is an offering of all sorts. It is a concoction of nurturance, of guidance, of navigation, of knowledge, of decolonial love and of a departure from a mainstream psychology that is evidently disordered.”

Boonzaier shared the following: “Over twenty years of work on violence has … helped me to think more carefully about knowledge production, both inside and outside of psychology. It has helped me to critically reflect on knowledge production and the violence it reinforces and perpetuates – how we contribute to our own annihilation if we don’t challenge the knowledge production machinery in academia and how academic knowledge continues to be a form of settler colonial knowledges – that domesticates, denies and dominates other forms of knowledge as Tuck and Yang has argued.”

She added: “Constantly seeing work that continues to produce images of black men as inherently violent and black women as disposable has forced me to step back and ask critical questions about knowledge production on gendered and sexual violence and to think carefully about ongoing forms of epistemic, structural and symbolic violence.”

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