healing trauma: mutual recognition and responsibility

How do we have to be to witness, listen and hold the pain of those many wounded amongst us and see ourselves in them, and they in us? If love and loss are what is common, and what is shared. What spaces are there for us to share these? What spaces can we create in our homes, offices, matatus to have these dialogues, to name and witness our pain? To witness each other, and restore our humanity.

permaculturing an eclectic community space

Pots, large empty jars, a city of Nairobi concrete bench nestled in a burst of green aloes and ferns, a reclaimed oil drum standing next to a charcoal fridge are just some of the eclectic things you find when you step into the compound of Bric a Brac, a new community space with permaculture principles…

healthy environment, healthy people

I managed to attend two side sessions of the UN environment assembly last week thanks to my communications consultancy for the waste management company Takataka Solutions. I was duly impressed. The conference was focused on the environmental aspects of the sustainable development goals (which include goals like peace and justice and inequality). The format was…

teaching african dance in nairobi

I teach a regular dance class in Nairobi, after doing the same in Brazil and Mexico. My classes draw heavily on African and Afro-diasporic traditions (ie traditions from the African diaspora). I think of my dance classes as sharing and getting to know cultures, so I try and give some background to each dance choreography…

exploring permaculture in nairobi

The bodaboda guy drops me off on the grounds in front of an old colonial-style mansion. I’m not sure this is the place but there’s a few people looking as lost as I am beginning to feel. A short walk around confirms the beauty of the setting- the edge of the Arboretum forest in Nairobi….

stories and histories – museums in cape town

I have a friend who loves museums (hi Betsy!). She says that it’s interesting to see what a city or nation chooses to remember and how they do it. Of all the places I have been to I would choose Cape Town as a city of museums. While I was there I visited the slave…

kwani? literary festival – gems

If you are familiar with African writing, then you know that the question of what language to write in, and how to justify your choice, if not to others most certainly to yourself, is one often asked. It is also a question that spills into other spheres of life and drags along with it…

at a swap fair in granja viana

I attended the monthly swap fair organised by Transition Granja Viana, a Transition Initiative in greater São Paulo. According to them, these (now weekly) swap fairs are the greatest success of the group!

a feira de troca em granja viana

Read the English version here A Issa mora em Granja Viana e é uma das representantes do Transition Granja Viana. Ela acha que a feira de troca é o mais grande sucesso do grupo Transition. Ela me contou isso quando estávamos dirigindo pra casa dela num sábado para aproveitar este evento, nomeado Eco Feira, bem…

bartering for sustainability

A reflection on a culture of exchange as I experienced it in São Paulo, and on how bartering contributes to an alternative value system- featured on This Big City.