Dear beautiful readers,
Last year you accompanied me on my journey to DRC. We started conversations about breaking the dominant narratives of a place, about seeing more than a single story about Congo and about the world. You supported me through my harsh wake up call to racial discrimination and through my struggles with navigating identities. You celebrated my tiny triumphs and larger ones and in the end grieved with me at having this adventure end.
It has been a little more than a year since Congo, it feels like 10 years! So much has happened in this year. My adventure in Congo may have ended in August 2015 but it opened up a whole new array of adventures to expereince. In trying to make sense of my expereinces within the bubble of aidland, my eyes were opening to the other things I never saw before in my seemingly ordinary everyday life. I was not navigating identites only in DRC, I have been navigating identities my whole life, just as everybody else. In understanding the underpinnings of my navigations within Congo, I discovered how my body, my place in the world and my the role I play in it at a particular moment shapes the experiences/interactions I have and that people have with me. Social science calls this reflexivity and I am hooked!
Looking at life through this reflexive lens reveals new adventures everday! But it also has pitfalls; analysing everyday reality can be hard, and exhausting and I often get super judgemental of myself, and then get judgemental of the judgemental self, and of that.. it goes on. And thats why even though I have been meaning to create this new blog for a year, I never went through with it. I remembered this feeling the other day – it was exactly what I felt when I was writing my thesis ( an autoethonoraphy). Dissecting my own expereinces left me feeling vulnerable and hindered a truthful analysis of my expereince, after a point I couldnt do it anymore. So I created ‘S’. S became my subject, she was having the expereinces and me as the researcher was trying to get underneath these expereinces. It worked then, so I dont see why it can’t work now.
So here we go, round two – everyday adventures! I hope you’ll join me on this journey !
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