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Change the world

26/06/2024

Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: Doctoral student in Architecture, Kawthar Jeewa, was invited to present her research at an international conference in China, based on her topic and methodology, rooted in the decolonisation of the discipline of architecture and community participation. 

She was also selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in a two-day early-career scholars’ workshop.

The conference entitled “Towards Sustainable Rural-Urban Development of Human Settlement -The Asian-African Collaborative Network” was organised by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. It was followed by an Urban Methodology Workshop.

Over the course of the two-day main programme, senior and junior scholars from the North, South, East, and West Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Europe attended.

Together, they delved into the non-linear processes and multiple challenges of urbanisation in Asia and Africa. Through such ‘comparative gesture’ or ‘mutual referencing and dialogue’, the conference created a foundation of the “Asia-Africa Collaborative Network”.

Kawthar was the opening presenter of Panel 5, which discussed “Inclusive Urban Redevelopment and Heritage Governance”. She demonstrated her architectural research work in Mauritius along with community engagement and spoke on issues relating to gentrification and lack of interdisciplinary practice between architecture, Heritage conservation, and community representatives.

The two-day early-career scholars’ workshop, entitled “Doing Mobile Ethnography: Learning from the Other ‘Other’,” gathered the selected young scholars through an international open call. Kawthar was awarded a fully funded scholarship to attend the workshop.

The selected participants were doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows from Brazil, Botswana, China, India, Macau, Mauritius, Tunisia, Turkey, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

The participants reflected on methodological issues and research challenges around doing fieldwork in the Global South.

They engaged in collaborative discussions on their proposed papers with workshop mentors Prof Bjørn Enge Bertelsen (Norway), Prof Lorraine Kennedy (France), Prof Oussouby Sacko (Japan), and Prof Tatiana Thieme (UK).

The round table discussions involved sharing experience of fieldwork in the Global South through a series of misadventures, self-sabotages and the new ethics of dealing with post-colonial histories and marginalised communities. Empathy, self-reflection and the rightful representation of voices were imperatives shared amongst the group.

Kawthar extended her deep gratitude to the “Youth of the Move” organisers Dr Min Tang, Anuj Daga and Dr Ying Cheng, to the Urban Foundation Studies for the funds, which made this opportunity real, and to the CAUP, Tongji University for the warm welcome in Shanghai.

Professor Magda Minguzzi is Kawthar’s doctoral supervisor.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za