Decentering Conceptions of Living Together
by Dr. Juliana M. Streva, Prof. Dr. Kai Kresse, Prof. Dr. Sérgio Costa

In revisiting and re-thinking ideas of ‘social cohesion’, the two-days workshop "Decentering Conceptions of Living Together: South American and African Perspectives" organized in November 2021 by RePLITO aims to rethink the classical scholarship on social cohesion by exploring multiple intellectual traditions and discursive practices from the ‚Global South‘, understood not merely as a geopolitical zone, but as a frame to investigate the various undersides of modernity.

The workshop was carried out as a webinar in three languages (English, Portuguese and Spanish) and translated simultaneously. The video records below are in the original language presented by the participants.

In the first panel, "Decentering Genealogies of Living Together", on the 25 November 2021, we listened to a transatlantic conversation between Reginald Odour (University of Nairobi), Flavia Rios (Universidade Federal Fluminense/Rio de Janeiro) and Sanya Osha (University of Cape Town), moderated by Kai Kresse (Freie Universität Berlin and Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO)). Odour offered a multi-sited reading of the dialogue between Ubuntu as African Communalist. Rios introduced the conceptual legacy of the Afro-Brazilian thinker Lélia Gonzalez, especially engaging with the concept of Améfrica Ladina. For decentering the genealogies of living together, Osha proposed a reading on conviviality through the case of migration and xenophobia in South Africa.

On the second day, 26 November, the workshop held the panel "Performativity, Activism, Praxis", following the diasporic dialogue between Latin American and Africa with contributions by Jhon Antón Sánchez (Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales from Ecuador) and Oritsegbubemi Anthony Oyowe (University of the Western Cape), moderated by Sérgio Costa (Freie Universität Berlin/Mecila). Engaging with the praxis, Sánchez shared with us insights about the activism and the political practices of social movements carried out by Afrodescendant people in the Americas today, with a focus on the web (rede/coalición) dynamics. By reflecting on performativity, Oyowe questioned the normative "ends" of living together in the light of recent African philosophy.

The third and final panel, "Critical Confabulations", was the space for the poetic-political assemblage of Alex Ratts (Universidade Federal de Goiás), Agustin Lao-Montes (University of Massachusetts Amherst) and Leda Maria Martins (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais), moderated by Juliana Streva (Freie Universität Berlin). Ratts shared the intellectual legacy of the Afro-Brazilian thinker Beatriz Nascimento by bringing attention to the notion of public voice both in the intellectual activism and in the Black movements. Lao-Montes confabulated on the tools of conviviality in Africana Beats, engaging especially with Ubuntu, Uramba and the praxis of marronage. Last but certainly not least, Martins discussed the Nzilas Cruzadas as a locus of transcultural entanglement, assemblage, transit and transformation

Recordings of the Sessions

[25.11] Panel 1: Decentering genealogies of living together

[26.11] Panel 2: Performativity, Activism, Praxis

[26.11] Panel 3: Critical Confabulations