What is it? Talk series is a non-judgmental, non-prescriptive space where curious minds meet to discuss issues. We meet once a month, currently at Roasted Coriander in Greenside Johannesburg. This is our modern day coffeehouse, as Adhila so eloquently put it.....through meeting the owners of Roasted Coriander, I feel as though we have made incredible friends/mentors and we are truly lucky.
The talk series movement was created by Adhila Mayet (a dear friend) and myself. Our vision is to create a platform for young & old to meet and discuss important issues in the hopes of promoting critical thought and questioning, which will hopefully result in meaningful action.
How it all began; Adhila and I started 'working' together after she shared with me some of her thoughts on the Palestine/ Israeli conflict. She had just returned from a trip in the middle east and was looking for a platform to voice her thoughts, to which I offered my ears & my blog (see here for some of her posts).
Our interaction became more intense the deeper we delved into the topic, we would quiz each other and challenge each other on notions we had about what constitutes justice. Our interactions quickly moved beyond just the middle east as we started to become each other's sounding board on issues that affected us on a daily basis. We spoke about feminism, ethnicity, tribalism, colonisation & many more. One day we decided that writing about these issues would not be enough. We felt propelled to create a space we could share with others, where we could all meet, talk, learn and question without fear of judgement. And hence the talk series was born.
Talk series volume 1:
We launched our first event on the 11th May 2016. With 28 guests in attendance, we were overwhelmed by the positive reception. This confirmed the need and importance of having these conversations and creating a network of allies in strengthening ideas.
Athough the topic for the night was specifically decolonisation of young minds, it soon became clear that we had set ourselves a mammoth task as the conversation moved more broadly towards colonisation & decolonisation in general.
The evening was structured as an open discussion with three segments: Decolonisation in the context of the past, present and future.
- Past: Colonisation & its impact on our childhoods.
- Present: Are we decolonised? What is our current state today? Decolonisation vs Post colonialism.
- Future: What is our ideal state? How do we use the past (pre-colonialism) as a reference instead of a benchmark?
"Decolonisation signifies the very act of breaking free from a way of thinking, of conceptualizing the world signified by oppressive power structures that have benefitted from Western dominance"
"As such the concept represents reclamation of land, of languages & establishment of self governance"
"Decolonisation is not to be an interesting debate to be had over a glass of wine. Decolonisation ought to be life"
It's impossible to capture the spirit of the night in its entirety in one post.
This is why I urge you to join us on our next event as we discuss womanism: defining and owning feminism as a person of colour (see event details in the picture below)
Context: Are there struggles that women of colour have endured that remain untold or portrayed under the blanket of feminism?
Call to action: Come & share how you define feminism within your own cultural context & perspective.
This is your platform to reclaim & retell your narrative as a woman of colour in a racist, patriarchal society.
We do believe that feminism is a human rights issue that affects all of us. Therefore this invitation is not limited to women of colour. All welcome.