Conversations

The Conversations on Decoloniality & Fashion is an online series initiated by the Collective in February 2021. This virtual platform beyond institutional, disciplinary and geographical boundaries aims to experiment with decolonial and decentral ways of knowledge-creation and sharing regarding fashion – through the relational and conversational, the communal and coalitional, and through a radical act of listening across multiple differences. Transcending academe, its main aim is to disrupt stubbornly persistent Eurocentric underpinnings of dominant fashion and encourage critical analysis and dialogue into an erased and denied diversity.

The way fashion as a noun—contemporary fashion—has come to refer to a temporality of contemporaneity, a system of inequality and an industry of capitalism particular to modernity, is intrinsic to its discriminating, exploitive and destructive nature. While fashion as a verb, the act of fashioning the body, is of all times and places. The claim to modernity endorses a superiority of fashion over ‘not-fashion;’ universality as the only ‘real’ fashion; and contemporaneity as the separation of the present from the past, enforcing categories of racial, cultural and temporal discrimination (Jansen 2020).

The Conversations are inspired by the Rolando Vazquez’s and Walter Mignolo’s Decolonial Summer School and Cricket Keating’s (2005) coalitional consciousness building, which is a feminist method of self and collective education toward coalition as a way to engender solidarity across multiple lines of difference. Each Conversation comprises a 90-minute session split into three 30-minute parts: a 30-minute conversation between the conveners and guest(s), a 30-minute breakout session of five people to enable more intimate exchange, understanding and (un)learning with each other, and a final 30-minute conversation with the whole group. The first 30 minutes are recorded and made available on the RCDF YouTube channel as part of an open-access online archive on decoloniality and fashion.

New in 2023

Unlike previous years, the Conversations will now be organised bi-monthly and hosted by different conveners, speaking from different positionalities, geographies and time zones, selecting different topics, guests and materials (readings, videos, podcasts, music, etc.). The day and time, as well as the main language, will vary and be selected by the conveners according to local preferences.

Everyone is welcome to join the Conversations, regardless of background, position or level of English language proficiency. Participation is based on a voluntary donation (PayPal or by bank transfer IBAN: NL39INGB0674877012/ BIC: INGBNL2A). This will allow us to cover the modest fees of conveners, guests and organisers for a total of 3.000 euros for the year. Registration on Eventbrite is required to receive the monthly updates and more in-depth details of the sessions. If you already registered last year, there is no need register again, just simply renew your donation.

Programme 2023

March 2023 On ‘Fashion Impacts,’ convened by Daniela Goeller
Fashion thinking is finding a valuable place in academia as a tool to think. Ongoing debates around climate change and the environmental and social issues arising from colonialism and globalization have focused necessary attention on how we dress. So, fashion as a conceptual and theoretical construct has become a valuable tool to further trouble these debates. In this conversation, fashion catalyses playful and inventive ways to look at the world differently. We take on 3 provocations: fashion (n) impact (v), fashioning impact (n) and impact(s) of fashion.
May 2023
TBC
July 2023 On ‘Crafting Encounters in Contested Spaces, Through Fashion Activism,’ convened by Francesco Mazzarella from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion & Erica de Greef from AFRI
What does it mean to work in the ‘sacrifice zone’, and with vulnerable communities, through the lens of fashion activism? When working across very different contexts, how do we prevent the perpetuation of the extractive violence(s) of the fashion system that appropriates cultures and the neoliberal/capitalist institutions that commodify crafts, and address our privileges that hold power? Can we lean into the complexities of these relations, and what if we trouble our positionalities in the skewed hierarchies at play that these projects are founded on?
October 2023 On ‘The Violent Death of Woke and Other Endearing Terms,’ convened by Nada Koreish from the Fashion Liberation Collective North Africa
A conversation about the terminology and sentiments surrounding ideas of wokeness, decolonisation, appropriation and pillaging. The concept of staying woke started in a message sent out by lead belly a country singer, to the Scottsboro boys in the 1920’s. It was a message to stay alert to police injustice, while now ‘woke’ is a token phrase, whored out by the media and establishments to create false notions of empathy and connectivity to a culture, a generation of people who these same establishments have been pillaging from for millennia. The coloniser and colonised mindset is in every terminology, like loaded weapons, we deploy them with little thought to none. So stay woke.
3 November 2023 On ‘Weaving Presences: Fashion and Restorative Practices,’ convened by Mi Medrado from CoMoDe
The conversation will focus on how to take decolonial aesthesis as a methodology towards fashion and restorative practices. It will engage with vocabulary, verbal fluency, and story components to develop decolonial narrative skills. The activity will join the National Brazilian Black Consciousness month activities in November 2023.
December 2023 On ‘What’s in a Name?,’ convened by Doris de Pont from the New Zealand Fashion Museum
Kākahu is the umbrella term for garments in the Māori language but just like dress in other cultures, there are many words that specifically describe items of clothing in terms of the materials and make of them, and their use. Korowai, a very specific labour-intensive finely woven and decorated cloak, is often used today as a generic name for any cloak, to the consternation of the skilled weavers who still deploy the traditional arts. Our conversation will address this blunting of terminology and canvas some strategies for expanding the language used for kākahu so that traditional names honour traditional practices while new words enrich the Māori vocabulary to capture modern materials, practices, and uses. 

Programme 2022

Thursday, 3 February 2022 On ‘Coalitional Consciousness Building’ with Cricket Keating.
Selected materials:
·       Cricket Keating. 2005. ‘Building Coalitional Consciousness.’ NWSA Journal 17(2): pp. 86-103.
Thursday, 3 March 2022 On ‘Vistas of Modernity’ with Rolando Vázquez and Siviwe James.
Selected materials:
·       Rolando Vazquez. 2020. ‘Vistas of Modernity: Decolonial Aesthesis and the End of the Contemporary.’ Mondriaan Fonds.
·       ‘Vistas of Modernity’ with Gloria Wekker, Nancy Jouwe, Rolando Vazquez a.o. 11 September 2021 (automated translation closed captions available).
Thursday, 7 April 2022 On ‘Indigenous Gender Knowledge’ with Erica de Greef and Angela Jansen
Selected materials:
·       Bobby Sanchez (2021) Ancient Identity
Selected works:
·       Maria Lugones (2016) ‘The Coloniality of Gender’ In: The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Development, edited by Wendy Harcourt (Palgrave Macmillian): pp. 13-33.
Selected works:
·       Alok Vaid Menon (2021). ‘The Cross-Dressing Laws Never Ended: Why We Must #Degender Fashion.’ Longread 4 State of Fashion
Thursday, 5 May 2022 On ‘Design for the Pluriverse’ with Sophie Krier and Erik Wong.
Selected materials:
·       Arturo Escobar (2018) ‘Introduction.’ In Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds. Durham and London: Duke University Press, pp. 1-21.
·       Arturo Escobar: Designs for the Pluriverse // Clark University Atwood Lecture, 2017 (in English with automated translation captions available)
·       Thinking With Arturo Escobar: Pluriversal Politics, with contribution by Rolando Vazquez // Research Centre for Material Culture, 2020 (English with automated translation captions available).
·      Sophie Krier and Eric Wong (2021) ‘In Search of the Pluriverse’ Podcast series (in English).
Thursday, 2 June 2022 On ‘Appropriation, Reparation, Repair’ with Solen Kipoz.
Selected materials:
·       Syllabus Fragments of Repair/La Colonie Nomade
·       In Conversation: Kader Attia & Charles Stankievech (27 January 2018; 1h29, in English with closed captions translation)
·       Dilek Himam (2013) Ahimsa: Showing Kindness to Dresses. PAD Journal 10
·       Museum catalogue Ahimsa: The Other Life of Clothes, 8-22 October 2012.
Thursday, 7 July 2022 On ‘Rethinking Fashion Globalization’ with Erica de Greef, Sarah Cheang, Hazel Clark, Chepkemboi Mang’ira, Harriette Richards & Daan van Dartel.
Selected materials:
·       Introduction to Rethinking Fashion Globalization by Sarah Cheang, Erica de Greef and Takagi Yoko
Thursday, 1 September 2022 On ‘Learning to Unlearn’ with Madina Tlostanova and Walter Mignolo.
Selected materials:
·       Madina Tlostanova and Walter Mignolo (2012) ‘Introduction: Learning to Unlearn: Thinking Decolonially.’ In Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
·       Madina Tlostanova and Walter Mignolo (2012) ‘Appendix: Amawtay Wasi Universidad Intercultural de los Pueblos y Naciones Indigenas del Ecuador.’ In Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
Thursday, 6 October 2022 On ‘Decolonial Pedagogy’ with Catherine Walsh.
Selected materials:
·       Catherine Walsh (2017) Pedagocías decoloniales. Prácticas insurgentes de resistir, (re)existir y (re)vivir. Quito: Ediciones Abya-Yala.
·       Catherine Walsh (2018). ‘On Decolonial Dangers, Decolonial Cracks, and Decolonial Pedagogies Rising.’ In On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis, edited by Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh. Duke University Press, pp. 81-98.
Thursday, 3 November 2022 On ‘Critical Theory of Patriarchy’ with Sikhanyisiwe Sebata.  
Selected materials:
·       Claudia von Werlhof (2015). ‘Madre tierra o muerte. Reflexiones para una teoría crítica del patriarcado’ (Mexico: Cooperativa El Rebozo) (transl. ‘Mother Earth or Death: Reflections for a Critical Theory of Patriarchy’)
·      Claudia von Werlhof (2004). ‘Capitalist Patriarchy and the Struggle for a Deep Alternative.’ Contribution for the national/international Conference ‘A Radically Different World View is Possible. The Gift-Economy Inside and Outside Patriarchal Capitalism,’ Las Vegas, USA, 13th – 14th of November 2004.
·      Sikhanyisiwe Sebata, 2021, ‘Her: A Disintegrated Notion.’
·      Sefelepelo Sebata. Breaking Patriarchy – A viewpoint from Rural Zimbabwe.
·      Sefelepelo Sebata. Resource Governance And Patriarchy.
·      Sefelepelo Sebata. Matriarchs – Creating An Enabling Environment For Patriarchs To Flourish.
Thursday, 1 December 2022 On ‘Hosting, Listening, (Un)Learning’ with Erica de Greef, Shayna Goncalves and Angela Jansen.
Selected materials:
·       Erica de Greef and Angela Jansen (expected in 2023). ‘Conversations on Decoloniality & Fashion: Hosting, Listening, (Un)Learning.’ In Sustainability Challenges in the Fashion Industry – Civilization crisis, Decolonization, Cultural Legacy, and Transitions, edited by Miguel Angel Gardetti and Patricia Larios-Francia.

Programme 2021

Saturday, 6 February 2021 on ‘Contemporary Fashion and Modernity/Coloniality’ with Angela Jansen.
Selected works:
·       Angela Jansen. 2020. ‘Fashion and the Phantasmagoria of Modernity: An Introduction to Decolonial Fashion Discourse.’ Fashion Theory: Decoloniality & Fashion 24(6).
Saturday, 6 March 2021 on ‘Some Key Propositions of Decolonial Thinking’ with Walter Mignolo.
Selected works: 
·       Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh. 2018. ‘Introduction.’ In On Decoloniality – Concepts, Analytics and Praxis. Edited by Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh. Duke University Press, pp. 1-12.
·       Walter Mignolo. 2013. ‘Enacting the Archives, Decentering the Muses: The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha and the Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore.’ Ibraaz November 2013
·       Walter Mignolo. 2013. ‘Re-emerging, Decentring and Delinking: Shifting the Geographies of Sensing, Believing and Knowing.’ Ibraaz May 2013
·       Walter Mignolo. 2013. ‘Sensing Otherwise: A Story of an Exhibition.’ Ibraaz September 2013.
Saturday, 3 April 2021 on ‘Modernity/Coloniality and Sustainability in Fashion’ with Sandra Niessen.
Selected works: 
·       
Sandra Niessen. 2020. ‘Fashion, its Sacrifice Zone, and Sustainability.’ Fashion Theory: Decoloniality & Fashion 24(6).
·       Sandra Niessen. 2020. ‘Regenerative Fashion: There Can Be No Other.’ This is an Intervention by State of Fashion.
·       Sandra Niessen. 2020. ‘Regenerative Fashion: There Can Be No Other.’ Long-read by State of Fashion.
Saturday, 1 May 2021 on ‘Decolonial AestheSis and Fashion’ with Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vazquez.
Selected works: 
·       
Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vázquez, ‘Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings,’ Social Text Periscope, 2013.
·       Ruben Gaztambide-Fernández (2014), ‘Decolonial Options and Artistic/AestheSic Entanglements: An Interview with Walter Mignolo‘ Decolonization: Indegeneity, Education & Society, Vol 3(1), pp. 196-212.
·       Decolonial Aesthetics/aesthesis Has Become a Connector Across the Continents: A Conversation with Walter Mignolo‘ (2014) Contemporary&.
·       Decolonial Aesthetics.’ Fuse Fall 2013
·       Decolonial Listening: An Interview with Rolando Vazquez
·       Rolando Vázquez, ‘Towards a Decolonial Critique of Modernity: Buen Vivir, Relationality and the Task of Listening.’ In Raúl Fornet-Betancourt (ed.), Capital, Poverty, Development, Denktraditionen im Dialog:Studien zur Befreiung und interkulturalität, Vol 33, Wissenschaftsverlag Mainz: Aachen 2012, pp 241-252.
Saturday, 5 June 2021 on ‘Modernity/Coloniality and Luxury Fashion’ with Toby Slade.
Selected works: 
·       
Toby Slade (2020)’Decolonizing Luxury Fashion in Japan.’ Fashion Theory: Decoloniality & Fashion 24(6), pp. 837-857.
Saturday, 3 July 2021 on ‘The Role of Fashion in Global Unequal Power Relations’ with Jean Casimir
Selected works: 
·       
Anibal Quijano (2007) ’Coloniality and Modernity/Rationality,’ Cultural Studies 21(2), pp. 168-178.
Saturday, 4 September 2021 on ‘Fashion Curation as Decolonial Practice’ with Erica de Greef and Amanda Maples
Selected works: 
·       
Erica de Greef (2020), ‘Curating Fashion as Decolonial Practice: Ndwalane’s Mblaselo and a Politics of Remembering,’ Fashion Theory 24(6): pp. 901-920.
·       Cornelia Lund (2020), ‘Deconstructing Fashion: An Interview with Beatrice Angut Oola,’ Fashion Theory 24(6): pp. 967-970.
Saturday, 2 October 2021 on ‘Modernity, the Greatest Show on Earth: Thoughts on Visibility’ with Shayna Goncalves, Erica de Greef, Angela Jansen and Jean Casimir
Selected works: 
·       
Rolando Vázquez. 2010. ‘Modernity, the Greatest Show on Earth: Thoughts on Visibility.’ Borderlands e-journal vol 9 nr 2.
Saturday, 6 November 2021 on ‘Decolonzing Fashion Curriculum’ with Sarah Cheang and Shehnaz Suterwalla
Selected works: 
·       
Sarah Cheang and Shehnaz Suterwalla. 2020. ‘Decolonizing the Curriculum? Transformation, Emotion, and Positionality in Teaching.’ Fashion Theory: Fashion and Decoloniality 24(6).
Saturday, 4 December 2021 on ‘The End of the Contemporary’ with Erica de Greef and Angela Jansen
Selected works: 
·       
Rolando Vázquez. 2018. ‘The Museum, Decoloniality and the End of the Contemporary.’ In The Future of the New, Artistic Innovation in Times of Social Acceleration. Edited by Thijs Lijster.
·       Decolonial Thinking with Rolando Vázquez: The End of the Contemporary?‘ (2017) Contemporary&.

Reflections

Decolonial Fashion Practice #5

By Toby Slade For the Conversation on Decoloniality and Fashion online session on 5th June 2021, I joined co-convenors Angela Jansen, Shayna Goncalves and Erica de Greef in a conversation that centred on my article Decolonizing Luxury Fashion in Japan. The recording of the conversation can be accessed here (Passcode: o5FJ7@5Q). The history of Japan since at least 1600 has been…

Decolonial Fashion Practice #4

By Erica de Greef For the Conversation on Decoloniality and Fashion online session on 1st May 2021, co-convenors Angela Jansen, Shayna Goncalves and I were joined by author Walter Mignolo, Rolando Vázquez and Lesiba Mabitsela in a conversation that centred on the co-authored article ‘Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Deconial Healings’ by Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vázquez. The recording of the…

Decolonial Fashion Practice #3

By Erica de Greef For the third Conversation on Decoloniality and Fashion online session on 3rd April 2021, co-convenors Angela Jansen, Shayna Goncalves and I were joined by author Sandra Niessen in a conversation that centred on her recent, radically challenging and provocative article ‘Fashion, its Sacrifice Zone, and Sustainability’ that was published in a…

Decolonial Fashion Practice #2

By Shayna Stephanie Goncalves On Saturday, 6th March 2021 Angela Jansen, Erica de Greef and myself welcomed Walter Mignolo into the second Conversations on Decoloniality and Fashion. The selected reading for this conversation was the “Introduction” to On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis co-edited by Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh. The recording of the first part…

Decolonial Fashion Practice #1

By Shayna Stephanie Goncalves The Research Collective for Decolonizing Fashion opened its first Conversations on Decoloniality and Fashion on Saturday, 6th February 2021. As a virtual space beyond institutional, disciplinary and geographical boundaries, the Conversations is a way to experiment with other ways of knowledge-production and sharing in regard to fashion –  through conversation, through…

Conversations on Decoloniality and Fashion

Conversations on Decoloniality and Fashion is a monthly online series organised by the Research Collective for Decolonizing Fashion for academics, critical thinkers, activists and creatives. The Conversations series seeks to expand our collective understanding of decoloniality and its convergence with the field of fashion. It aims to address the foundational knowledge within the field of…

2 Comments

  1. Dear Sir/Madam, my name is Zrinka Tomasic, and I am looking for a PhD supervisor. I am planning to do a PhD in Taiwan indigenous fashion.
    I am currently finishing MA Chinese language and culture at Ca’Foscari, University of Venice, Italy. And, I am already holding MA Clothing design for industry from the University of Zagreb, Croatia.
    If You know some professor accepting PhD students on this topic, please conect me to Them.
    Thank You

    Zrinka Tomašić

    Like

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