Geography: “a discipline that may not be ready to, or even capable of, responding to the challenge of decolonisation,” (Esson et al., 2017: 384).
Huw Rowlands (AHRC PhD, RHUL Geography) and Joy Slappnig (CDA PhD, RHUL Geography in collaboration with the RGS-IBG) expertly led Landscape Surgery this week, in a “Contemporary Debates in Human Geography” session concerning “decolonizing geographical knowledges” – a topic that not only formed the locus of important discussions at the recent RGS-IBG conference, but also inspired a forum in Transactions. Together we sought to ultimately explore and unpack the question: decolonising geographical knowledge or reproducing coloniality? To begin exploration of this challenging but salient topic, Huw and Joy posed three key reflective questions:
-What is geographical knowledge? How is it perpetuated? Why should we address it?
After a few moments of personal reflection, we were asked to document our initial reactions to these questions on post-it-notes, which we then used to populate flip-charts posting these questions around the room.