Newsletter Nr. 21 (April 2013, subsequent to our 21st Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 24th - 27th April 2013)

Compiled by Evelin G. Lindner, in 2013
(Note: This newsletter is written in British English, since this conference took place outside of the U.S. In our NY workshops, we usually use American English.)

 


Contents

•  Pictures
•  Thanks!
•  Evelin Lindner's reflections after our conference
•  Papers
•  Announcements and Good News
•  Welcome Again!


 

Pictures

(Important note to our conference particants: During our conferences, we always make an effort to ask for your permission to have your pictures posted on this website. However, you may have overheard or misunderstood our question, or you may have changed your mind since, either in total or for specific pictures/videos, please let us know! Thank you! Since we wish to walk the talk of dignity, it is very important for us to do our utmost in respecting everybody's privacy. We refrain from gathering written permissions from you during our conferences, since we value the building of mutual trust in relationships, and we also would like to refrain from contributing to an ever more bureaucratic and legalistic society.)

24th - 27th April 2013
21st Annual Conference of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network in Stellenbosch, South Africa
(Important note to our conference particants: During our conference, we asked for your permission to have your pictures posted here, however, if you changed your mind since, either in total or for specific pictures/videos, please let us know! Thank you!)

 

Still pictures:
Several web galleries with still pictures have been created for this conference:
Day One, Evelin's pictures
Day Two, workshop and public event, Evelin's pictures
Day Three, Evelin's pictures
Day Four, Evelin's pictures
Day Five, Evelin's pictures
Pictures of the entire conference by Shwetha Tumkur Shivakumar
Robben Island, 29th April 2013, Evelin's pictures
Pictures by Justine Richards, 23rd - 30th April 2013

Videos:
Introductory Presentation: Who We Are by Evelin Lindner, 24th April 2013 (unfortunately, reduced video quality)
A Dignity Renaissance: Can There Be Too Little Shame? The Link Between Dignity, Shame, Humiliation and Humility by Hélène Lewis, 25th April 2013 (unfortunately, reduced video quality)
Development Methods Open Space Dignilogue session, 25th April 2013 (unfortunately, reduced video quality)
Development Methods, summary by Gavin Andersson, 26th April 2013
African Languages in African Schools by Zehlia Babaci-Wilhite, 26th April 2013
Ubuntu Open Space Dignilogue session, 25th April 2013 (unfortunately, reduced video quality)
Ubuntu, summary by Joy Ndwandwe, 26th April 2013
Global Citizenship, by Akinlolu Makinwa, 27th April 2013

Videos created by Linda Hartling:
•  Greetings to All (short version), created on 16h April 2013 for our 2013 South Africa Conference
•  Greetings to All (long version), created on 16h April 2013 for our 2013 South Africa Conference
•  Welcome to Everybody, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
•  Our Appreciative Frame, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
•  Our Open Space Dignilogue Format, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference


24th April 2013, Day One of the conference. Hélène Lewis welcomed everybody.
Please click on the picture on the left or here to see all of Evelin's photos of Day One.
Please click on the picture on the right or here to see all of Shweta's photos of the entire conference.

25th April 2013, Day Two of the conference.
Please click on the picture on the left or here to see all of Evelin's photos of Day Two.
Please click on the picture on the right or here to see all of Shweta's photos of the entire conference.

25th April 2013, the Public Event of the conference, with Hélène Lewis speaking about 'A Dignity Renaissance: Can There Be Too Little Shame? The Link Between Dignity, Shame, Humiliation and Humility'.
Please click on the picture above or here to see all of Evelin's photos of Day Two.

On 25th April 2013, after Hélène Lewis spoke at the Public Event of the conference, Dan Baron joined us live from the Amazonian North of Brazil from the arts-based pedagogical work he and his partner Mano Souza conduct.
On 26th April 2013, Dan wrote:
Dear friends:
We invite you to participate in the launch of the CD 'Amazon Our Land' by the young artists from the band 'Backyard Drums', from the project Rivers of Meeting, this Saturday from 7pm onwards, in the Afro-Indigenous community of Cabelo Seco, between the Amazonian Rivers Tocantins and Itacaiúnas.
Anyone can participate from a distance, downloading and sharing the 12 songs from the CD which will be posted on YouTube the same night. The complete CD (with a booklet in Portuguese, Spanish and English), will also be available on our site from Saturday, the 27th.
riosdeencontro.wordpress.com
Messages of solidarity for these young musicians who refuse to step onto any stage funded by the multinational mining company Vale, presently devastating the Amazon, are welcome and will strengthen the movement for a living and sustainable Amazon. 
Thanks in anticipation for your participation!
Abraços
Dan
Dan Baron
Project 'Rivers of Meeting'
National awards from Funarte and the Ministry of Cultura Brasil, in 2008, 2010, 2012
Award from Itau-Unicef, 2011

Please click on the pictures above or here to see all of Dan's photos.
Please see also the CD Amazonia Nossa Terra Rios de Encontro 2013 (CD cover, CD booklet) by the Latinhas de Quintal of the Afro-Indigenous community of Cabelo Seco ("dry hair"), Marabá, Pará, Brazil.
See three songs uploaded here: Amazonia Nosa Terra, Cabelo Seco, and Beaba da coruja
- Invitation to the launch of the CD Amazonia Nossa Terra Rios de Encontro 2013 (English) and Outdoor lancamento
- Release para o lancamento (27 abril 2013)
- Outdoor Centenario de Marabá
- Os Sopros de Quintal criando sua propria musica na Casinha de Cultura, Cabelo Seco
- Os Sopros de Quintal celebram a conclusao do mini-curso de improvisacao coletiva na baira do Rios Tocantins
- 30 jovens do Rios de Encontro (Cabelo Seco) pedalaram para o bairro Liberdade para afirmar uma Amazonia Viva Sustentavel
- Tres geracoes da familia de Elizangela, lavadeira e gestora do Rios de Encontro, apreciam a foto dela no Dia da Mulher, na 'Galeria do Povo'
- As Latinhas de Quintal e o nucleo adulto comunitario do Rios de Encontro recebem aplausos na entrega do CD no final de cinco anos de formacao artistica (2)
Media attention:
- Resenha latinhas negam tocar no palco da Vale
- Jornal sobre residencia
- Resenha residencia artistica

On the 27th April 2013, Evelin wrote to Dan:
Dear Dan,
We still are deeply touched by your account of the dramatic events in Cabelo Seco, including the violence experienced by a young artist-leader from the Latinhas de Quintal (Backyard Drums). "We" includes the participants of the 2013 conference "In Search for Dignity", held from 24th to 27th April in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Please receive our message of solidarity with the young Afro-Indigenous musicians of the band "Backward Drums". Their decision not to participate in the centenary celebrations funded by the multinational mining company Vale, presently threatening the Amazon, is a bold protest and gives us hope that more and more people will resist against further destruction of our world's most rich and vulnerable ecosystems.
At our conference we acknowledge and applaud the brave fight of these young people. We like to confirm our solidarity to them.
Participants of the 2013 Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies conference "In Search for Dignity":
Hélène Lewis, South Africa
Evelin Lindner, living a life as a global citizen
Uli Spalthoff, Germany
Aine Hughes, Ireland and South Africa
Ann McCollum, Ireland and South Africa
Gavin Andersson, Botswana and South Africa
Gary Pages Jones, Kenya and Australia
Douglas Racionzer, South Africa
Howard Richards, Chile
Justine Richards, United States
Akinlolu Makinwe, Nigeria
Joy Ndwandwe, Swaziland
Emmanuel Ndahimana, Rwanda
Zehlia Babaci-Wilhite, Norway

26th April 2013, Day Three of the conference.
Please click on the picture on the left or here to see all of Evelin's photos of Day Three.
Please click on the picture on the right or here to see all of Shweta's photos of the entire conference.

27th April 2013, Day Four of the conference.
Please click on the picture on the left or here to see all of Evelin's photos of Day Four.
Please click on the picture on the right or here to see all of Shweta's photos of the entire conference.
On 28th April 2013, the day after the conference, Howard Richards and his granddaughter Justine, together with Uli Spalthoff and Evelin, went on a small round-trip from Stellenbosch. First, Uli brought us to the Muratie Wine Estate, then to the Tokara wine and olive oil estate.
Please click on the picture above on the left or here to see more of Evelin's photos.
Please click on the picture above on the right or here to see more of Justine's photos from 23rd - 30th April.
On 29th April 2013, we saw the Cecil Rhodes Monument with its great view over Cape Town, and the Waterfront of Cape Town with its sad prison-like fortresses of supposed "elite property."
Please click on the picture above on the left or here to see more of Evelin's photos.
Please click on the picture above on the right or here to see more of Justine's photos from 23rd - 30th April.
On 29th April 2013, we also went to Robben Island.
Please click on the picture above on the left or here to see more of Evelin's photos.
Please click on the picture above on the right or here to see more of Justine's photos from 23rd - 30th April.
On the 30th April, Howard Richards, his granddaughter Justine, and I, we joined Uli Spalthoff on his way to the airport. We passed at Mitchell's Plain, a largely coloured township about 32 km from the city of Cape Town, where Howard and his colleagues have a project.
Please click on the picture above here to see more of Justine's photos from the entire period of 23rd - 30th April.

April 2013: Dear Ronèe recommended a number of books to read so as to understand the situation in South Africa better:

• Biko, Stephen Bantu, & Stubbs, Aelred. (1979). I write what I like: A selection of his writings. London: Heinemann.
• Gobodo-Madikizela, Pumla. (2003). A human being died that night: A South African story of forgiveness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
• Hedges, Chris. (2009). Empire of illusion: The end of literacy and the triumph of spectacle. New York: Nation Books.
• Jansen, Jonathan D. (2009). Knowledge in the blood: Confronting race and the apartheid past. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
• Krog, Antjie. (1998). Country of my skull. Johannesburg, South Africa: Random House.
-- (2003). A change of tongue. Johannesburg, South Africa: Random House.
-- (2010). Begging to be black. Cape Town: Struik.
• Ramphele, Mamphela. (2008). Laying ghosts to rest: Dilemmas of the transformation in South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Tafelberg.

The bottom pictures is taken from an article titled 'Afrikaans in die weegskaal' on the disproportionate weight given to the English language: "Die tyd vir praat en voete sleep, is verby. Dade is nou nodig om Afrikaans en ons inheemse Afrikatale in die praktyk te beskerm en uit te bou, skryf Leon de Stadler.' (Die Burger, Forum, Saterdag, 27. Aapril 2013, page 13,

Please click on the pictures above or here to see more photos.



 

Dear Friends! Thanks!

We had a wonderful conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa! The conference had the title 'Search for Dignity'.

We would like to invite everybody to contribute to this newsletter (see further down) with your reflections! We invite comments and thoughts both from the participants, and from those who were with us online or in spirit! For example, perhaps you would like to share with us:

1. What worked well for you?
2. What do you think would work even better in future conferences?
3. How would you like to help?

And please send us your pictures of the conference to upload!

All our conferences are part of our ongoing relationship-building work (rather than 'stand-alone' events). We wish to nurture a global community of people who strive to bring more dignity into the world.

Our 21st Annual HumanDHS conference was yet another overwhelming conference, unique in its intensity. What was particularly remarkable in this conference was the diversity of our participants from many corners of the world: South Africa, South Africa/Namibia, South Africa/Botswana, Swaziland, Rwanda, Nigeria, UK/Kenya/Australia, India, Northern Ireland/South Africa, Ethiopia/South Africa, Germany, Berber/France/Norway/global, and Silesia/global. In addition, we observed that all participants shared a particular biography of extreme mobility, geographically and also with respect to their life paths, throughout their lifetimes.

The term 'co-creation' got a much more tangible meaning for me through this conference: You co-created an entire conference as an artful 'social sculpture' of love and dignity!

We managed to do more than just speak about the topics at hand in theoretical terms, and we did that in many different ways. We manifested experiences that drew us all into deeper understanding. We were true to the title of our conference, 'Search for Dignity':
• we stepped out of our usual 'armours' (professional, ethnic, national, etc.) and met as fellow human beings; thus we enriched the traditional approach to academic conferences with insights from psychology, including the insight that connected knowing leads to greater clarity of argument and insight than traditional separate knowing (see Mary Belenky);
• we avoided the downsides of overspecialisation by drawing specialised research together to forge comprehensive viewpoints;
• we included scholars from several disciplines;
• we included participants from a wider range than just established academia;
• we modelled selfless co-leadership;
• we modelled and manifested conflict resolution in the relational ways that are also in line with indigenous wisdom. This is to name but a few examples.
• last but not least, as always, we again attempted to be at the cutting edge of experimenting with technology that has the potential to connect people who otherwise would stay isolated.

We are particularly grateful to our host, organiser, and convener, Hélène Lewis. We are deeply thankful for Hélène's extraordinary leadership that she has extended to us! She, in turn, received kind support from the administration of the University of Stellenbosch! Thank you!

Hélène's caring presence was remarkable. She never forgot even the smallest detail, from her generous pre-conference preparations to her wonderful guidance and interventions throughout our conference.

Then we want to thank all participants for their breathtaking insights and deep passion for taking action and building relationships! Thank you for joining hands in making this one of our most special and most memorable conferences. Everyone participated by not only offering their particular personal perspectives but also engaged in an enormously enriching process of co-creating new meaning.

We would also like to convey our loving gratitude to Dan Baron who was able to speak to us from Brazil!

After the conference, we sent the following message of solidarity:

Dear Dan!
We still are deeply touched by your account of the dramatic events in Cabola Seco, including the violence experienced by a young artist-leader from the Latinhas de Quintal (Backyard Drums). 'We' includes the participants of the 2013 conference 'In Search for Dignity', held from 24th to 27th April in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Please receive our message of solidarity with the young Afro-Indigenous musicians of the band "Backward Drums". Their decision not to participate in the centenary celebrations funded by the multinational mining company Vale, presently threatening the Amazon, is a bold protest and gives us hope that more and more people will resist against further destruction of our world's most rich and vulnerable ecosystems.
At our conference we acknowledge and applaud the brave fight of these young people. We like to confirm our solidarity to them.

Participants of the 2013 Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies conference 'In Search for Dignity'

Hélène Lewis, South Africa
Evelin Lindner, living a life as a global citizen
Uli Spalthoff, Germany
Aine Hughes, Ireland and South Africa
Ann McCollum, Ireland and South Africa
Gavin Andersson, Botswana and South Africa
Gary Pages Jones, Kenya and Australia
Douglas Racionzer, South Africa
Howard Richards, Chile
Justine Richards, United States
Akinlolu Makinwe, Nigeria
Joy Ndwandwe, Swaziland
Emmanuel Ndahimana, Rwanda
Zehlia Babaci-Wilhite, Norway

A reason for sadness was that Linda Hartling and her husband Richard Slaven could not be with us in person, due to their family health situation. However, we did feel them to be very close. Thank you, dear Linda!

Please see a list of the videos that Linda Hartling created so as to be with us:
•  Greetings to All (short version), created on 16h April 2013 for our 2013 South Africa Conference
•  Greetings to All (long version), created on 16h April 2013 for our 2013 South Africa Conference
•  Welcome to Everybody, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
•  Our Appreciative Frame, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
•  Our Open Space Dignilogue Format, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference

In sum, this was yet another of our 'unconference' conferences: It was a unique, co-created conference. Rather than organising time around keynote presentations, we organised around human-to-human conversations, taking a highly collaborative approach to planning our time together. More precisely, we used a format of Open Space Dignilogue Sessions. These are conversations on topics proposed by participants. On the first day of the conference, we invited everybody to offer a topic and be a dialogue facilitator/leader for her or his session. Everybody was also open to other proposals. Those participants who wished to propose a topic, described it. Then, as a group, we combined and prioritised ideas as needed, so as to finalise the schedule for the rest of the conference. The Open Space process encouraged all of us to meet in a spirit of mutual support, equal dignity, and flexibility, which enriched the conversations throughout our 'unconference' conference.

We invited volunteers to videotape Dignity Dialogues for the World Dignity University initiative following each Open Space Dignilogue Session. These dialogues were intended to briefly summarise the key points from the Open Space discussions, providing documentation of the group's conversation. For an example of a video dialogue, please see here.

See here a list of the videos we created:
'Global Citizenship' by Akinlolu Makinwa. In this video, Akinlolu O. Makinwa summarises the session titled 'Gobal Citizenship' that was part of the Open Space Dignilogues of the conference. The video was recorded 27th April 2013 by Justine Richards.

In addition to the three-day workshop for HumanDHS members and friends, Hélène Lewis hosted a Public Event titled 'A Dignity Renaissance! Can There Be Too Little Shame? The Link Between Dignity, Shame, Humiliation and Humility', on 25th April 2013, 14.00 - 16.00. Everybody was invited to bring interested colleagues and friends to this event.

In all our conferences, we always kindly ask participants who reside in the location of our conferences to give a helping hand to those traveling from afar. We greatly appreciate everyone's efforts to keep our events collaborative and affordable for all, since everybody is fully responsible for their own travel, transportation, and accommodation arrangements.

There is no charge for the HumanDHS conferences or our online sessions. However, in the spirit of shared responsibility, we always attempt to assess expenses during the conference and invite participants to contribute according to their ability. We also gladly welcome electronic contributions in support of our work.

Again, we warmly welcome you to all our conferences. We appreciate your willingness to be an essential part of our gatherings. Your participation is of great importance. We are certain that your contribution will have enduring reverberations not only for your work, but also for our network of scholars and practitioners working throughout the world. With the highest regards and the warmest wishes!

Francisco Gomes de Matos, peace linguist from Recife, Brazil, co-founder of the World Dignity University initiative, kindly sent us a 'Communicative Dignity: A Checklist' from Recife, Brazil, where he concludes that 'dignity is more than a quality; it is the essence of our humanity'.

May we extend our very warmest thank-you to ALL!
There are no words to express our appreciation for your amazing contributions!


Evelin & Linda, on behalf of our entire network, 2013

 


 

Evelin Lindner's reflections after our conference

I am personally deeply grateful to you, since also my personal feeling of vulnerability with which I came to the conference was transformed by your depth of understanding that dignity means that we hold hands, that we help each other when we are blind for our own blindness, that we are generous in forgiving each other.
I am in deep awe at the profundity of human dignity and love that you all brought to this conference!

I would like to repeat my apology for having bored some of the participants in this conference with my introductory talk. I think the lesson must be to change my approach in the future. I will attempt to make an even clearer separation between the two hats I wear: one of a convener, and one as a researcher. It is of extreme importance to me to make clear that as a convener I am merely a 'gardener', a nurturer of space for dignified relationships. My personal scholarship is something completely separate. With my scholarship, I wish to inspire everybody to find their own approach to conceptualising the field of dignity, of honour, of humiliation, of respect, and so forth. Unity in diversity is the motto for dignity also with regard to research and theory building (see my article 'How Research Can Humiliate'). My path is meant to nurture unity in diversity, rather than uniformity without diversity. Linda and I, we wish to refrain as much as we can from building an 'empire' with our particular approaches to these topics.

The second lesson for me to learn is that I should contribute with my personal views later in the conference, on Day Two or Day Three, when I have met the other participants in more depth and have understood where they stand. I myself get very bored and rather frustrated when I receive advice that treats me as ignorant, while I might be even more informed than the adviser. It pains me when I have to admit that I have perpetrated the very same indignity on others.

I am profoundly thankful that my apologies have been heard and accepted by those participants who, indeed, felt bored by my presentation! A profound thank-you to you! Your acceptance means so much to me!

 


 

Papers

All participants are warmly invited to send in papers.
Please notify us, if you wish to submit any of your papers also as a book chapter or as a journal article.

Please see earlier submitted papers here:
• List of All Publications

Zelhia Babaci-Wilhite (2013)
Search for Dignity by Implementing African Languages in School
Abstract presented at the 21st Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies 'Search for Dignity', in South Africa, 25th - 28th April 2013

John Aspill (2013)
Humiliation, Stanislavsky and Consciousness
Abstract presented at the 21st Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies 'Search for Dignity', in South Africa, 25th - 28th April 2013

Liu Bangchun (2012)
The Peacefulness of Chinese Teenagers

Paper presented at the 21st Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies 'Search for Dignity', in South Africa, 25th - 28th April 2013

Merle Lefkoff and Joy Stocke (2013)
Paper presented at the 21st Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies 'Search for Dignity', in South Africa, 25th - 28th April 2013

Wael Mohamed (2012)
The Hubris Syndrome and Arabic Spring
Abstract presented at the 21st Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies 'Search for Dignity', in South Africa, 25th - 28th April 2013

Joy Ndwandwe
see some of her publications:
- Sibaya System our Indigenous Governance Tool, in The Swazi Observer, 6th October, 2012, page 23
- Umhlanga weLutsango LwaboMake BakaNgwane: My Journey in Regimency, in Weekend Observer, Saturday to Sunday 11 -12, 2012, page 19



 

Announcements and Good News

See here the latest news of our HumanDHS network!

Status 2013:
•  An Introduction to HumanDHS, March 2013
• 
HumanDHS Good News, March 2013
•  A Quick Fact Sheet, March 2013
•  Information About Our Leadership and Collaborative Teams, March 2013
•  A Collection of Pictures, Including the Book Covers, March 2013
•  Dignity Press Flyer April 2013 (formatted so that you can print and fold it)

 


 

Welcome Again!

We would like to end this newsletter by thanking all conference participants for co-creating a deeply enriching experience. All our network members have been with us in spirit throughout the conference, and we are very grateful for their ongoing encouragement and support.

Please be most warmly welcomed to our future conference:

New York in December 2013, then in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2014, again in New York in December 2014, then in Rwanda in May/June 2015, and in New York in December 2015.

WELCOME!!!

Linda & Evelin, April 2013