Attended two enriching philosophy of education colloquiua this month, the UCL-Kyoto Philosophy of Education Colloquium and European Philosophy of Education Colloquium (formerly the IOE-KUL Philosophy of Education Colloquium), both of which were co-founded by my doctoral supervisor Paul Standish, and which I have been attending regularly since 2017. The UCL-Kyoto colloquium included the screening of two films, Shoplifters (dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018) and This is England (dir. Shane Meadows, 2006), each of which was an enriching watch on its own but which, together, had me thinking about the theme of family and the role of older siblings in children's educational journey. At the European colloquium, we watched Where the Green Ants Dream (dir. Werner Herzog, 1984) the theme of which tied in nicely with our reading of one of Achille Mbembe's recent essays on the decolonization of the university. 'Decolonization' is all the rage here in Western Europe and the Anglo-West, especially among academic circles, but I've noticed how the public discourse about it does not always distinguish clearly between the diversification of curricula, political decolonization, and the kinds of epistemic battles that are undertaken by decolonial activists who are playing the long game of global epistemic decoloniality. Thinking about Herzog's film alongside Mbembe's provocation I think surfaced some of these distinctions a little bit more clearly for the group, and I do think Herzog's film is a good stimulus to get people unfamiliar with colonial history to start thinking about these issues, despite the film's gnawing colonial gaze.
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