The year 2020-2021 was a watershed moment in many ways: we were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the video of Georges Floyd’s death circulated the world almost in real-time, raising global awareness of colonial injustice and the statue of slave merchant Edward Colston was toppled in Bristol by BLM protesters. Walter Mignolo’s The Politics of Decolonial investigations (Duke University Press 2021) raised the question of how to translate decolonial theories into practice to move beyond an inheritance of colonialism towards traditions of intellection from the Global South and academics worldwide started considering how to decolonise their practices as well as academia as we know it.
This talk will address these significant challenges by trancing the speaker’s intellectual journey from conceptualising Co-Creation as a way of co-constructing knowledges with non-academic audiences, including young people, residents from disadvantaged urban areas in the global North/South and communities and institutions faced with colonial legacies, in particular in Bath and Bristol. It will cover the Co-Creation of two case studies developed in Mexico City and Bath and discuss how co-creating a horizontal and multi-perspectivist approach to transatlantic slavery legacies in Bath has led to a new project that seeks to decolonise our imagination obliquely by looking at botany through arts, social walking and a public talk series. Concluding remarks will summarise some of the findings and potential future collaborations.
Dr Christina Horvath is a Reader in French politics at POLIS, University of Bath. Her research addresses representations of disadvantaged urban communities and neighbourhoods, particularly in France and Latin America. Since 2012, she has been researching Co-Creation as a collective, horizontal and decolonial methodology of co-producing knowledge with communities using art/creativity as a catalyst. In 2020, she co-edited the book Co-Creation in Theory and Practice with Juliet Carpenter from Oxford University (Policy Press), and in 2022, the volume Breaking the Dead Silence: Engaging with the Legacies of Empire and Slave-Ownership in Bath and Bristol’s Memoryscapes (Liverpool University Press) with Richard S. White from Bath Spa. Her latest research deals with Bath’s links with transatlantic slavery from a Co-Creation perspective and the impact of colonialism on the ways we perceive plants, gardens and botany.