This session is intended to be messy and will leave you with more questions than you came in with. We shall start off by asking ourselves “what are you pretending not to know?” This question inspired by African-American scholar and activist Toni Cade Bambara will guide us into the conversation. How do we understand our role as researchers? In what ways are we complicit in reproducing structural inequities and systemic harm?
This manifesto is centered around 3 “big” themes:
- At what and whose cost do we engage in research?
- What right do I have to engage in this research work?
- What if I refused to participate?
This is an invitation to get intimate with ourselves and investigate the privilege(s) we hold as researchers and designers. Reflecting on the power imbalances that exist, how can we move toward a culturally thriving and sustainably empowering approach to emancipatory research that centers minoritized communities? Asking these questions and sitting with their complexities is urgent and necessary. Together, we strive for less extractive, decolonial, and anti-capitalist visions for research that are rooted in liberatory harm reduction, relationship building and community empowerment.