Dr. Sharon Stein, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia will facilitate a workshop drawing on the work of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective. The workshop will offer participants a chance to engage with the intellectual, affective, and relational dimensions of decolonization so that we might interrupt harmful patterns of knowing, being, and relating, and learn how to live together differently.
Decolonization is a topic of increasing interest among institutions of higher education, and those who work and study within them. However, there are many different ways of approaching decolonizing work. Indigenous scholars have pointed out that many institutionalized decolonization efforts thus far have been largely tokenistic, extractive, and paternalistic, and failed to interrupt the continuity of colonial business as usual (e.g. Ahenakew, 2016; Daigle, 2019; Tuck & Yang, 2012). They have also pointed to the need to both enact more substantive forms of redress for historical and ongoing colonial violence, and regenerate relationships rooted in trust, respect, reciprocity, accountability, and consent (Whyte, 2020). As Indigenous curator Elwood Jimmy notes, to do this kind of decolonizing work properly takes time, and cannot be rushed: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. In other words, it requires us to build the stamina to stay engaged and accountable when things become difficult, complex, and uncomfortable, and to build muscles for capacities that are atrophied or exiled. In this workshop, participants will be invited to develop more generative approaches to engaging with the discomforts, contradictions, conflicts, and failures that inevitably accompany decolonizing work.