Privileges and Critical Whiteness

When I heard of the (Global Learning) request of a school near Munich to deal with the topics of post-colonialism and mission in Tanzania, I was delighted and activated to walk this journey together. I was particularly motivated by reflexivity that showed itself in the dedication of the students to have their Tanzanian partner school visit them in return (as they had visited their partner school in Tanzania last summer). Through ENSA, the school exchange program of Bildung trifft Entwicklung (“education meets development”) their partner school may soon be able to visit the students in Germany.

So I responded, and collected a list of possible topics for a kick-off workshop, in which the students would further reflect and deepen their experience of their visit to Tanzania last summer. To my delight, they chose the topic of privileges and critical whiteness, which I could resonate concerning its particular importance after an extended stay in a country of the Global South, as a young person without any deeper prior knowledge to the global colonial matrix of power.

I don’t feel like an expert or anyone who has something specific to share other than her own struggles with the global inequalities and her own position, born into a context of imperialism and settler colonialism. So the workshop was a reflection of such self-understanding as vulnerable (re)-searcher, one who has voyaged through personal struggles that were triggered by becoming aware of global coloniality.

We began with image associations concerning life on the African continent (Senegal in particular), and then ventured into the use of language (White, Black, PoC ). With the walk of power, we explored privilege and intersectionality and took an extended slot of time to reflect these embodied experiences.

I was deeply impressed by the level of reflection and openness among the group. I kept on realizing that the reflections on post/de- coloniality are a lifelong process and one in which we all need each other, both cognitively/intelectually and also spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Thank you for holding this mirror up for me and relate with such openness.

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