New podcast on knowledge co-production, art-based participatory methods and social justice 

In the new episode of the One Ocean Hub podcast, early-career researcher Elsemi Olwage (University of Namibia) and Kira Erwin (groundWork/Durban University of Technology) talk to Hub’s Milica Prokic about their experiences of collaborative research in Namibia and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, of knowledge co-production, art-based participatory methods, and social justice. In this deeply insightful and rich conversation, they focused on the power of the participatory art-based methods and solidarity in engaging with the essential themes such as (post)colonial livelihoods, culture, violent spatial engineering of Apartheid which shaped the coasts of Southern Africa, and with the notions of access, displacement, and racialisation.

Discussing their work – Elsemi  on co-research activities within the ǂAonin (Topnaar) community on heritage in Namibia and Kira with the Empatheatre on the Lalela ulWandle (Listen to the sea) project  – they explored an array of themes: for instance, what it means to co-research through art-based methods which are both embedded and embodied in the social movements, with the aim to open up research practices for use by others? They also spoke of storytelling as a method of co-research, discussing the ‘around the fire methodology’ and the ways to go about it while avoiding knowledge extraction in contexts of marginalisation.

The theme of access came up as one of the crucial aspects in co-researching with the people who were the subject of oppression, racialisation, racism, and displacement along the coasts of Southern Africa in particular: access to the coast itself as well the access to the decision-making forums.  In this context, Kira and Elsemi discuss the contested lines between coastal belonging, land relations and access amidst the current conservationist system of governance.

To learn more about how transdisciplinary research might challenge this state of affairs, by bringing together Indigenous and praxis-based knowledge and engage with the various entanglements of academic science and the lived and locally embodied cultural and intergenerational wisdom, tune into this episode!

Related SDGs:

  • Reduced inequality
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Life below water
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions