Master Class 2.1: Research

Master Class 2.1: Research

Master Class 2.1: Research

Pritima Chainani-Barta

29 June 2023
18:00 - 19:30 CEST

“Change at the Root”: Liberating the Colonised Mind

White supremacy was openly celebrated under colonial rule and all non-whites were considered barbaric. White rulers were encouraged to devote themselves to the gigantic task of taming the savages of the colonies. Imperialism of the colonial era was, undoubtedly, a dichotomous system of oppressors and the oppressed. Most colonies have attained political independence from colonial oppression. Yet, imperialist structures and ideologies of white supremacy, that moulded the mindset of colonised people, are still ingrained in postcolonial consciousness. As an alternative to this dichotomous system of oppressors and the oppressed, that exists even today, Paulo Freire’s model of the “Pedagogy of the oppressed” calls on humankind to overthrow an unjust system and establish a world founded on a “humanized and just” plateau, where no culture or race is considered superior. This movement to humanize an oppressed system means engaging in a two-front battle. On the one hand, we must strike at the roots of consciousness of white supremacy that perpectuates itself even in the 21st century. On the other hand, we can only dislodge an oppressive biased system if all those inevitably subjugated minorities critically regard, and subsequently discard, inherent ideologies of colonial oppressors.

This session emphasizes the need to be constantly alert to the hegemonic and subtle power plays in interpersonal encounters — with a view to embark on a journey of deep-rooted change within. As an initial step, there will be a brief introduction to Prof. Dr. Kirsten Nazarkiewicz’s “culturally reflective” model. Participants will be invited to consider the impact of culture and power play. J. Krishnamoorthy’s “Freedom from the Known” will, subsequently, serve as a plattform for reflection on the uphill task of liberating the mind from the dogmas of cultural programming and the warped doctrines of imperialism that are indelibly inscribed in the colonised mind. Intercultural activists and thinkers will encounter a creative space and taste the experience of criss-crossing the boundaries of the “Known”, listening to the silent yet urgent calls for a more equitable and inclusive society divorced from dogmas and imperialist doctrines.

Pritima Chainani-Barta was born in India and completed her Ph.D in German language and literature from the University of Mumbai. Currently, she works part-time as research associate for cultural diversity at the Fulda University of Applies Sciences in Germany. In addition, Pritima has longstanding experience as a professional facilitator and executive coach in Asia and Europe. She is a certified Core Strengths facilitator and accredited as Senior Practitioner by the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council). Pritima’s personal and professional intercultural background (Indian-German), defines her expertise as in international coaching and facilitation. She supports high potentials in fine-tuning their professional skills and prepares them to meet the challenges of high-stakes international engagements.

Pritima is devoted to promoting cultural diversity through her work. She co-heads the SIETAR regional group of Frankfurt-Rhein-Main-Unterfranken and is actively involved as a volunteer in the project “elan” funded by the Ministry of Education and Culural Affairs of the State of Hesse, with a view to educating parents and teachers on school-related topics and cultural diversity. Pritima believes that several intercultural issues in academics and in business can be resolved, or even avoided, if the parties concerned are sensitive to the inherent dominant forces of dogmatic cultural conditioning and power plays in interpersonal encounters. She claims that education and antibias trainings form the groundwork for developing a mindset, free from the barriers of prejudice and discrimination.