Principles for decolonial practice

To resist the ways in which colonial education separates the body from the mind

To disavow the illusion of ‘objectivity’ and ‘rationality’ that dominates colonial forms of education. Instead, we endeavour to embrace and reengage with our emotions, and to support others to engage with their emotions too.    

To change the whole curriculum of our formal education systems, to cultivate an over-standing of colonial legacies, and to teach us what we need to be taught. Simultaneously, to support and nurture resistant forms of community education, and to retrain teachers. 

To resist and reject the competition, hierarchy and individualism embedded in colonial education, and our colonised cultures. Instead, we seek to embrace the spirit and philosophy of Ubuntu. 

To recognise the emotional toll involved in resisting, and to take self-care and collective-care seriously. 

To work towards the recovery of traditional practices and morals that were taken away through colonialism. To take the good, and reject the bad, in order to progress. 

To challenge representation, imagery, and language that perpetuate white supremacy and colonial relations. Examples include the image of white Jesus and prayer in alien tongues. 

To reject the valorisation of whiteness, white people and white desirability standards (that leads to toxic practices like skin bleaching), and recognise these ideologies as legacies of colonialism and enslavement. 

To recognise that language is propaganda, and the role language plays in transmitting a message that ‘the West’ is superior. To nurture and appreciate native languages and dialects, and reject the prioritisation and celebration of English. 

To be deliberate in the way we reconnect with nature, including the land, food, agriculture, soil, and water. 

To celebrate women, and remember the fundamental role played by women in understanding soil and water points for agriculture, and survival. 

Remember, remember; remember not to forget… our histories. To recover these histories through dialogue, through oral histories, and through engagement with – and dissemination of – alternative histories. To simultaneously reject Eurocentric distortions of our histories, and see this recovery process as a means through which we might challenge Afriphobia. 

To overstand that ‘tribalism’ is a consequence of colonialism, and to reject the ways in which those stereotypes shape our lives/ To recognise tribalism as a colonial vestige, and reject its divisive impact accordingly.  

To recognise our own locations in relation to power, be that in relation to our race, our ethnic communities, our nationalities, or any other identities. Simultaneously, to recognise what we can offer. 

To be hard on ideas and soft on people. To recognise that we are all moving towards the same place, and remember love and kindness along the way. 

To identify and tackle the root of problems. Remembering that, as Angela Davis puts it, radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root’. 

To ask, ‘who will do the washing up in the revolution’, and recognise the unseen work that enables decolonial resistance. 

To imagine movements being reminiscent of the interdependence of a forest – people each taking on roles, big and small,and being interdependent.

To appreciate the role of art in our learning, and in our activism: to advocate for the importance of artivism

To embrace the spirit of Sankofa, and learn from the past to inform our futures. 

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