Africa Days 2011 (Högskolan Dalarna, Falun)

Reflections on Africa Days 2011

18th–19th October

GROUP 6: Aneta, Anna, Joshua, Hilary, Marta, Valeria.

We attended Africa Days organized by Högskolan Dalarna during 18th and 19th of October 2011. All the contributions were focused around Africa’s themes, concentrating mainly on countries in Northern Africa and Horn of Africa.

As a group we consider that the main topics of these two days were the political changes in African countries as well as prospects on development in the future.

It is quite clear that generalization of Africa should not take place, since it is a wide continent with large variety of countries with their own historical, cultural, political and social background and traditions.

Because speakers had different topics and came from different backgrounds, it was a little bit challenging to find a common point among presentations. It was not necessary a negative thing – instead we see this as an opportunity for interdisciplinary comparison of various perspectives. It was definitely a great idea to engage people not only from local faculty but also professors and students from other countries, adding reflections on the topics through own backgrounds and knowledge.

From our opinion, most lectures carried through at least some level of historical thematic.
As students we found it very beneficial for our critical understanding of African issues.
Surely we are going to deepen and widen the main points each professor presented us during the conferences.

We found very stimulating the presentation by Daria Zizzola because she showed us that we can look at the African issues as well as at global issues from another, original, point of view. For instance she studied Imperialism and Colonialism through the literature by Hanna Arendt and Amié Cesaire.

In a similar way Elena Vezzadini touched the topic of the “traditional music as a instrument of resistance in Revolutionary Egypt”. According to her opinion and studies, music is a tool trough which people can cherish their identity, try to resist against a critical political situation and create a background for political changes. In this way they can mobilize people.

One of the group members would have been glad to hear more lectures concerning digital learning and reflects on how digital technology has improved or at least affected lives in African countries. However everyone in the team considered African Days quite beneficial.

During the Africa Days we re-examined a lot of concepts such as imperialism, colonialism, diaspora, Sufism, migration, mobility and so on. We had the chance to look at these issues in a post-modern light from different perspectives that allowed us to evaluate and enlighten our existing opinions. We can use these information in order to improve our research methodology, explore new avenues and elaborate a new multi-faceted point of view.