Conference / Talks

To Go Along With Community Psychology or Build African Psychology: That is the Question

How is Africa defined, studied, and experienced within Community Psychologies and how are local communities mapped, theorised and engaged in African Psychologies? Are Community Psychologies as understood and advanced in South Africa – where the idea of trans-racial, nonpoor, or white community remains under question, given that community is conflated with ethnicity, race and class – African Psychologies, and if not, should it matter? Are African Psychologies in actual fact attempts to domesticate versions of Liberatory, Social, Black, Cultural, Critical or Community Psychologies? Fuelled by these and similar questions, this symposium will offer a range of views on how the ideas and facts of Africa and community are apprehended and relayed in the subdisciplines and orientations within Community Psychology and African Psychology. The goal is to learn from the speakers’ own empirical studies and theoretical work as a contribution towards deciding between teaching, researching and designing interventions from within Community Psychology in African settings, and developing African-centred psychological interventions with and for local communities. At the same time, the speakers will present something of their own quests for an emancipatory praxis against the legacy of imperial, colonial and apartheid knowledge and power. The symposium is itself thus intended as embodiment of mutual and critical support and inspiration for one another’s search for a decolonised psychology in our communities, classes, practices, studies, and everyday lives.

This is the convener’s abstract for a symposium to be held under the title “Applying Community Psychologies to African Realities, or Centering African Psychologies in Working with Local Communities”. The symposium will form part of the International Conference on Community Psychology, happening 27-30 May 2016 at the International Convention Centre in Durban.

The symposium will have four panelists. Hugo Canham will be talking on “Theorizing community rage for action”.

The feminist psychologist Peace Kiguwa’s talk is titled, “Depoliticizing African feminist psychology: Rescuing intersectional politics and notions of ‘voice’ from academic feminism”.

“(Re)searching fragments of an African ethic and contending with social justice in a Batswana female initiation project” is the topic of Boshadi Semenya’s talk.

Kopano Ratele will talk on “Why we like community psychology rather than African-centred psychology in communities – And what such choices raise about liberation from coloniality?”

You can read the speakers’ abstracts here.


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