I am Foluke Ifejola Adebisi and this is my blog.
I am currently a Senior Teaching Associate at the Law School, University of Bristol. I did a PhD at Lancaster University, examining non-military mechanisms for preventing mass atrocities in West Africa. I am extremely invested in exploring the overlaps between race and postcolonial coloniality. We often see race and imperialistic capitalism as different things, just as we see oppressive class systems and racism as separate forms of oppression. I do not believe that they are so very different. All oppressions are linked. Often oppression is multiplied. There are divergences, but so many overlaps. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Africa. Accurate study of Africa, I believe, is central to examining how these systems rise and fall on the same ideologies. Therefore, we need new ways of interpreting the African experience within law, society and politics.
Within this blog I have explored these concepts in different ways; through academic rants, humour, poetry, personal reflection, among other things. For example in the poem, Child, You are Black, I show how Blackness and Africanness converge in pain, agony and oppression, saying:
‘for Africans who think their pain is greater
You need to see that this is the same death and despair,
The same story that confines us in poverty and pain,
The voice screaming Willie Kimani, should also wail Philando Castile,’
In Finding My Africa, Finding Myself, I reflect on how my own experience of living both in Africa and as a diasporan African gives me a unique view on race as a co-construct of empire. While in Global University Rankings & Toilets, I use the single issue of global University Rankings to show how both empire AND whiteness are normalised and standardised. This is because African universities are ranked on how European they are not on how much they benefit their own countries. Other pieces I have written on how race and empire affect education in Africa include, Language in African Education and The Ugandan Bridge Schools and Education as Freedom.
I am also very much concerned with how race and empire impacts on the lived experiences of black women in Africa and outside Africa. My blog-lecture on intersectionality, How and Why Intersectionality Matters, explores this. In A World of Falling Skies and Dominator Culture, I argue that our starting point for ending the oppression of black women has the potential to reoppress if we do not examine the oppressive culture in which we implement liberation. In Misogynoir: Did Not Start with Saartijie, Will Not End with Serena, I draw a line between historical representation of black women and current abuse levelled at black women.
Nevertheless, I think it is very important that we have seek to end negativity rather than just examine it. In Academics as Optimistic Shoe Salespeople, I suggest that rather than us lamenting our current reality, we should be revealing the reasons for the possibility of our reality, and charting a path that unveils the possibility for change. In Ending Afronesia and Afrotortion, I urge Africans to take the initiative in ending Antiblackness. I always speak Pan-Africanism. It is OUR collective and together work that will end Anti-Blackness. Pan-Africanism is now. Pan-Africanism is continuous work and hope and work and hope and love and love and love and more love.
My academic writing some of which is listed below, is also steeped in these themes:
- ‘Decolonising Education in Africa: Implementing the right to education by re-appropriating culture and indigeneity’, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 67(4), 2016: 433-451.
- ‘The Impact of African Philosophy on the Realisation of International Community and the Observance of International Law’, International Community Law Review, 18(1), (2016): 3- 33.
- Book Review: Levitt, J. I. (Ed.). (2015). Black Women and International Law. Cambridge University Press. African Journal of International and Comparative Law, 24(1), (2016): 168 – 172.
- ‘A Right to a Project of (African) Life: Boko Haram, ESC Classification of the Right to Education, and the Unjustifiability of Generationalising Human Rights.’ Journal of Academic Perspectives, 2015(4):1-21.
- ‘Where the Rubber Hits the Road: The Limitations of the Universalism Vs Cultural Relativism Debate Impacting FGM Control in Nigeria’, NIALS Journal of Law and Gender (accepted February 2015) [7870 words].
- ‘Losing the Utility of the Responsibility to Prevent: The Confines of International Law and Focus on Genocide Prevention’, International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, 6(4), (2013): 191- 203.
- ‘Is Côte d’Ivoire a Test Case for R2P? Democratisation as Fulfilment of the International Community’s Responsibility to Prevent’, Journal of African Law, 56(2), (2012): 151-174.
I have given many presentations and talks on this. I have also used these themes in my spoken word poetry. For example:
If you are interested in any of these things, please follow this blog, comment, question, participate and contribute. You can also follow me on twitter @folukeifejola.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really, really, really appreciate it!
Long live Africa.
Long live her people.