It's about self education

Hello everyone! The idea to open this forum is mainly for us to self educate on the theme you've read in the letter. As the world evolves, the way we perceive, see, speak, understand the world also can and should evolve.  The title says Brasil to Europe because of the colonization context and how it impacts until now on the societies, but of course it is address to everybody who is willing to reflect upon the subject. Maybe by bringing it to the light we might actually be able to find a few ideas and actions to make things right with everyone. Any thoughts? 

I have read the letter and am finally happy that this conversation is happening. But before I begin, I must first acknowledge with gratitude how much I have gained and grown through the network.  I do not know how or where to start, and yet I have much to share and for us to discuss because it is true that there is an under-lining euro-centrism and a need to re-think (decolonise) how we operate. But it is not a simple process of decolonising - but understanding that there are many layers of colonialism and privileges – I am concerned if we used the word decolonised, we will go into this binary of thinking between the global north and global south – because it runs deeper than just having this binary separation. We must think hard and deeply about what diversity, inclusivity, equity and justice mean to us. Yes, I know this is the new buzz words, and we must move beyond words to action; what might that action be? I don’t think it is just an action but a continuous action and effort needed. As a network, we must continue addressing the persistent challenges and harms of discrimination and oppression in the past and the present. 

We will not be able to understand the layers of oppression that each individual has gone through and that there are no such things as a level playing field because these wheels of power and privilege are interconnected and interrelated. And we also need to be aware that within some of us are the challenges of internal oppression and that it is real, and these internal oppressions must be included in how we move forward.

I want also to bring up the issues of being marginalised and that there are different levels of marginality and issues of feminism need to acknowledge that the euro-centrism of feminism cannot be a blanket term used or ideology embraced. I share this because when I was writing my PhD, I had to search out other Asian POC female scholars – one more thing, even in Asia, we have different levels of racism. There is a divide in the North East, South East, South Asian etc. The list goes on.

I might be going on and on and in circles, but I will share an incident on how offended I was when I was asked at a Magdalena to speak Singaporean and dressed more in my local costume (sorry, I mean – clothes). Hence, this brings me back to the whole concept of returning to your source culture, and I would say – how does one do that when your entire race and identity result from colonising? Are you asking me to strip away the very fabric of who I am?

And so thank you, and I believe that we should now turn the mirror towards ourselves and ask what our perceptions are when we view other other/ed bodies within the network.