International Alumna of the Year Award – Angella Ndaka

Congratulations to Angella Ndaka, who has been awarded the 2020 ANU International Alumna of the Year Award for her important contribution to gender and social inclusion in Kenya.

After graduating from ANU in 2015, Angella formed the team that set up the Women in Leadership Network (WILN)-Kenya chapter. She is the current chairperson of the network and has led three Women in Leadership grants that have empowered women and girls in rural communities in Kenya.

Watch a video here.

All Public Events Cancelled at ANU

As a precautionary measure and based upon the advice from our expert panel, we will cancel all public and social events from Monday 16 March until the end of semester one, Saturday 20 June. This is a precautionary measure that we know will be disappointing for many, but our aim is to reduce opportunities for the virus to spread by limiting activity on campus without disrupting our essential teaching and research activities. 

Cancellation and postponement will extend to all discretionary events including ticketed and non-ticketed public events, public lectures and concerts.

Essential activities related to teaching and research, including tutorials, lectures, staff meetings and community services like childcare and cafes will continue as normal at this stage. 

Podcast: Truth and Trust

In this podcast episode, ANU’s Kirsty Wissing joins the Familiar Strange panel to explore ideas of truth and trust as related to her PhD research around water and purity in relation to the hydro-power Akosombo Dam in Ghana.

Who decides that water is pure? Who has the authority to decide? Is it a question of how water is packaged, or a question of spiritual values? How do ideas of cleanliness show us who is trusted and trustworthy?

Listen to the podcast here.

Canberra Multicultural Festival 2020

Canberra’s annual Multicultural Festival beings today (21 February) and runs all weekend! 

Details and program here: https://www.multiculturalfestival.com.au/

Africa Village
The Africa Village will be at Stage 5 across the 3 days of the Festival. The program will feature ‘One Spirit Africa’ an Afro-fusion band from Melbourne. Combining Ghanaian lyrics with English, they perform traditional African rhythms with vibrant percussive styling that will keep you dancing! One Spirit Africa will feature traditional West African drums, xylophone and flute along with contemporary keys, guitar, bass, drum kit and horns to present an authentic percussive performance. The Village will also feature Afro Zumba and a Drum workshop for all to participate in!

There will also be food for sale from Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Nigeria.

Africa Party in the Park – 18 April

18th April 2020, 10 AM – 7 PM

Stage 88, Commonwealth Park, ACT 2600

 

This free one-day event, is a fun, family friendly affair with non-stop entertainment ranging from cultural performances, catwalk fashion shows, artists in traditional costumes and iconic drumming – all creating a memorable and unique experience that promotes cross-cultural awareness and understanding

of African culture in Australia.

More details here.

The 2016 Zambian Elections and the Role of the International Community

African Studies Reading Group, Thursday 21 November 17:00
Lady Wilson Room, Sir Roland Wilson Building, 120 McCoy Circuit

THE 2016 ZAMBIAN ELECTIONS AND THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Zambia had long been hailed as a model in the region so hopes were (naively) high that the 2016 presidential election was going to be undertaken in the true spirit of democracy – but that was not to be. This presentation describes how various actions taken by the ruling party appeared to have been copied directly from a “Dictator’s Handbook” on “how to rig an election”, just as used in other countries, including Uganda and Zimbabwe. A charade was played out, of pretending to follow international standards while at the same time, and often in plain sight, many blatant irregularities and major transgressions against accepted electoral practices occurred. There were also abuses of constitutional processes after the elections. The result was the end of the Rule of Law in Zambia.

The role of the international community before, during and after the elections is described and analysed and an attempt is made to explain why  observer mission “referees” handed out the equivalent of “yellow” and even “green” cards,  in stark contrast to the international commentators who produced “red cards”.  It was as if they had officiated at different games.

Margaret O’Callaghan is a Canberra-based independent scholar, former Visiting Fellow at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy and a former United Nations Population Fund representative to Zambia.

All welcome. Refreshments provided.

“Now I am Dead”: Anthropological Encounters with the Other

WEDNESDAY 04 DEC 2019, 5:30pm–7pm, Lady Wilson Room (2.10)
Sir Roland Wilson Building (#120), ANU
(Note change of date to Wednesday 04 December at 5:30pm)

Now I am Dead (2018) dir. by Philipp Bergmann

“If anthropology is founded on the violence of speaking for others,” anthropologist Isabel Bredenbröker asks in the thought-provoking short film Now I am Dead (2018), “then how can I relate to this?”

Bredenbröker and film director Philipp Bergmann had planned an artistic video installation to explore the nature of the ethnographic encounter through the lens of her research on death in a small town in Ghana. But in the midst of filming, Isabel’s grandfather dies in Germany. Asking the people she encounters for advice about how to react to the death of a far-away family member whilst shooting a film on death in West Africa, the perspective of the foreign researcher is tragicomically inverted and incorporated into a local perspective. The distinctions between the other culture and one’s own, between the Other and the Self get blurred, just as the threshold between life and death becomes something that can be experienced in a playful way.

“This is absurd,” Bredenbröker declares, “but in its absurdity, it makes perfect sense.”

About the presenter: Isabel Bredenbröker is a PhD candidate in the Research Training Group of Value and Equivalence at Goethe University, Frankfurt. Trained as an anthropologist, her research considers the material and economic aspects of death in the Volta Region of Ghana.

Coinciding with the annual conference of the Australian Anthropological Association, the Freilich Project is pleased to host the screening of this unique short film, and a discussion on the perennial challenges of ethical encounters between individuals and cultures in social scientific research.

The film screening and discussion is free and open to all, and will be followed by light refreshments.

Please register for catering purposes.

2020 Phyllis Montgomerie Commonwealth Award

Applications are invited for the 2020 Royal Commonwealth Society’s Phyllis Montgomerie Commonwealth Award. The award, of up to $5000, is intended to help with expenses, including travel, associated with a research or education project to be conducted in a Commonwealth country, including Australia.

Criteria

There is no restriction on the field of study or endeavour, nor are applications restricted to university students. Projects should have the potential for demonstrable benefit for the subjects of the study and Commonwealth member states. Applications must also include a clear statement of objectives and identifiable outcomes.

Eligibility

To be eligible, applicants must be:

  • Australian citizens
  • Residents of the Australian Capital Territory
  • If students, graduate or higher degree

How to Apply

Online application form and details here.

The closing date for applications is Friday 15 November 2019.

(Note: in previous years all successful applicants have been PhD students at ANU.)

Intra-Party Politics and Conflict in Ghana

African Studies Reading Group, Thursday 24 October, 5 pm.
Lady Wilson Room, Sir Roland Wilson Building, 120 McCoy Circuit, ANU.

Recent studies on democratization and conflicts in Africa have largely focused on civil wars, as well as national, sub-national and local elections. Little attention has been given to conflict and violence as a result of internal processes of political parties. The dynamics of intra-party conflicts differ from those at the national or sub-national levels, and therefore should be treated as a subject in its own right. Political parties in Ghana are beset by intra-party conflict, which poses a significant threat to the democratic development of the country. Drawing on elite interviews and ethnographic observations, this presentation will argue that the struggle for power, the lack of internal democracy, ethnicity, factionalism, and patronage have contributed to intra-party conflicts and violence within Ghana’s two dominant political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP).Ernest Akuamoah is a PhD student in the School of Politics and International Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies (First Class Honours) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana) and a Master of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. His PhD project examines the impact of term limit relaxation on electoral violence.

All welcome, refreshments provided.