Finding creative form and movement within a poststructurally-induced academic-paralysis
By: Mollie Baker
"The poststructural problematisation of the power dynamics that arise in attempting to know then developed my thought from ‘how should I represent the experiences of my participants?’ to ‘why should I represent their experiences?’ to ‘I shouldn’t’."
Humanitarian representations and hybridity in African diaspora identities
By Dr Edward Ademolu
"Visual representations are central to — and orbit around — the phenomenon and work of humanitarianism. When we think of humanitarian work, we often visualise much of the non-western, Black and Brown world. As image producers and disseminators, these organisations set the visual tone within which certain people and places are defined and comprehended — indeed, who (and what) they ‘are’, ‘aren’t’ and ‘ought to be’."
By: Amin El Sharqawy
"The current political climate in Egypt does not allow for the explicit discussion of queer rights in the media or in the public sphere. I myself am writing this article under a pseudonym, for fear of having my real name attached to any discussion of this issue. Despite rigid censorship, queer characters have long appeared on screen in Egypt, in ways both empowering and problematic: as agents of comical relief, symbols of Western cultural encroachment, but also as controversial actors in the struggle for national independence."
By Dr Ján Michalko*
"I believe we would be more effective in countering false representations and othering discourses of the current elites, and ultimately be better positioned to change perceptions marred by centuries of oppression and exploitation, if we institutionalise a culture in which each practitioner or researcher is held accountable for undertaking an in-depth analysis of their personal histories and is expected to face and share the uncomfortable truths of where they stand in the world."
By Savannah Dodd, Rebecca Gordon and Lakshmi S. Bose
"There is no “one size fits all” answer to ethical dilemmas. We always need to consider our positionality, our subjectivity, the historical legacy, and sociocultural norms, among other things, when making ethical decisions. A principles basis allows for fluidity ethical decision-making from person to person and from context to context."
By Dr Shahd Alshammari, Lakshmi S. Bose and Rebecca Gordon
“My stories are written on the body, from the body, from the very point of resistance and simultaneous vulnerability of women who love, women who struggle with disability, men who feel lacking in their disability, and a society that excludes and marginalizes these voices.”
By Dr Ute Kelly
"If we are serious about questioning and transforming experiences of othering, some of the work that is needed concerns ourselves and each other in the spaces and moments we share. But this work also involves zooming out of particular experiences and situations to see the larger contexts in which all of us are situated. It involves listening not only to the voices that are within touching distance, but also to echoes, resonances and silences across time and space..."
Navigating Telephone Interviews with Trans and/or Non-Binary People
By Abby Barras
"I went into telephone interviews thinking that they would be tidy because of the absence of both of our bodies, but in fact they were beautifully untidy, rich and emotional. This can only assist my understanding of the experiences of transgender people in sport whilst being mindful of not co-opting transgender people’s experiences to create homogenous research, nor sidestepping the very real material challenges and discriminations transgender people face."
Two Reflections on Positionality in Movements for Change
"Intersectionality plays out at different times in different places. We have to think about when to speak up & when to keep quiet to allow other voices in the room to be heard"
Representing Agency and Victimhood Within the Lives of Women in Sex Work
By: Dr Mirna Guha
"To study and represent the experiences of a marginalised community is a responsibility academics should not take lightly. Dichotomous representation of experiences of agency or victimhood for women in sex work have been strongly linked to their identities and cast them as either victims or agents. Findings from my research re-emphasise the need to recognise dynamism in sex work, disentangle experiences from identities, and allow for narratives of violence and agency to co-exist."
By: Dr Arif Naveed
"Increasing demands for rethinking the ways of engagement with the ‘Other’ – particularly the poor in the non-Western contexts – echo both Michel Foucault who warned us of the ‘indignity of speaking for the others’, and Gayatri Spivak who made a convincing case against speaking for the poor whilst arguing for the ways to speak to and listen to them."
By: Anna Purkiss
"When writing a disabled character in a book, authors’ words carry enormous potential for harm and for good, not just in the fictional worlds they create but in the real world that their readers inhabit"
By: Dr Michelle Lokot
"The act of representation is political. When refugees are presented as perpetually vulnerable and somehow lacking, it reinforces hierarchies between humanitarian agencies and the people they serve"
By: Sharon Walker
"Many people categories used in policy, such as ‘youth’, ‘black and minority ethnic’ and ‘failing pupils’ can pass as banal and unnoticed given our familiarity with their use, but we must constantly question, challenge and monitor their use"
Connections, Disconnections and Common Lifeworlds
By: Dr Sara Salem
"The conditions for creating a truly transnational form of feminist solidarity based on anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism existed from the 1950s to the 1970s, based on a shared analysis and understanding of oppression and, by extension, liberation"
"(...) implications of digital technologies developed for refugees and vulnerable migrant populations, reveals the crucial nature of representation, which is complex and – for the displaced – often requires the ability to navigate visibility and invisibility for survival."
"In many ways the politics of representation is a slippery concept, difficult to pin down and attach to a specific meaning; in part we see it as the contested space between the subject, the representation of the subject and self-representation. This conceptualisation leads us to ask: is there a way to do representation ‘right’? And importantly, who gets to decide what is ‘right’?"
"...I bestow voice upon them
I give them the gift of the word.
I represent them.
I work for social justice, peace and sustainability.
I turn their utterances into gold..."
By Politics of Representation Collective
"Questions about the ways in which researchers represent others in their work and the ethical considerations that underpin these decisions lag behind other aspects of ethical social scientific consideration. Researchers are engaged in the task of representation: of their participants, of themselves and of their social worlds. Despite previous thoughtful and reflexive work on the ethics and politics of representation, there is a need to continuously engage on new methods and practice in ethical representation."
We welcome unsolicited contributions from individuals/collectives/groups who are engaging on topics both directly and indirectly related to the Politics of Representation, and by extension decolonial thought. As we strive for an interdisciplinary approach, we cover a wide range of topics that may range from political economy to cultural analysis. This may include but is not limited to: theoretical, methodological, reflection, opinion and exploratory pieces.
We publish in formats including: essays, poetry, photo essays, and reviews. Pieces typically range from 1000–1500 words in length, however we also post ‘long reads’ that may be up to 4000 words. As our aim is to create a flexible platform, we are open to alternative formats and will decide on a case-by-case basis.
As our audience is comprised of both academics and practitioners, we recommend that the writing style is aimed for the ‘informed public’ and structured in a manner that is exciting, engaging, and translatable across multiple disciplines.
Please submit a short abstract (100–200 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a proposed word count and short bio (and if appropriate, institutional affiliation). We aim to provide an initial response to all potential contributors within two weeks.
We use the UK Creative Commons Licensing agreement for all pieces. However, all rights to the submissions are retained by the author(s), which shall permit the author(s) to request for the submission to be deleted from the our platform at any point, and/or re-posted with another publisher that mandates sole publishing rights.