Adwoa Owusuaa Bobie – a career update

Adwoa Owusuaa Bobie – a career update

Adwoa Owusuaa Bobie
Adwoa Owusuaa Bobie

My path crossed with Foundation Oumou Dilly at the maiden edition of the CODESERIA Summer School in 2015. The programme was organized in Dakar, Senegal, in collaboration with the Centre for African Studies of the University of Basel. After the Summer School, there was an opportunity to apply for a full PhD scholarship among participants of which I won.

The Foundation sponsored my four-year PhD programme at the Centre for African Studies (Sociology option) at the University of Basel. The scholarship was comprehensive, covering my fees, stay, medicals, fieldwork travels and quota for book purchase. Living in a country like Switzerland, with its high living standards, the monthly stipend and medical coverage eased the financial burdens most migrant students face in Switzerland. The provision of fieldwork allowance afforded me the room to explore my interest in the African fashion industry, specifically Lagos, Nigeria. Studying the Lagos fashion industry was an ambitious task considering the fact that I had never been to Nigeria before the time.

Besides the financial support, the Foundation facilitated the creation of scholarly community for beneficiaries in Basel which became a social network that supported integration and intellectual development. This scholarly community have existed till date and has increased in membership over the years. Based on the financial and social support I received through the Foundation I was able to complete my degree on time amidst managing family back at home and two pregnancies.

Fortunately, I got an opportunity for a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in Ghana in 2019, few months before I completed my PhD. The postdoctoral fellowship was on the Ghanaian creative industry, titled “Advancing Creative Industries for Development in Ghana (ACIG)”. After completing my tenure as a postdoc in 2022, I was contracted by UNESCO for three months to consult as a researcher on the Preliminary Exploratory Research on the African Industry.

Currently, I am a research fellow at the Centre for Cultural and African Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. My research areas are the African fashion industry, cultural and creative industry, gender and development studies. The Foundation Oumou Dilly continues to support my academic career by financially supporting my research work and conference presentations.

Antoinette Danebaï Lamana – a spring in Basel: a sojourn between the academy and culture, renewing oneself!

Antoinette Danebaï Lamana – a spring in Basel: a sojourn between the academy and culture, renewing oneself!

Antoinette Danebaï Lamana
Antoinette Danebaï Lamana

I started my stay in Basel for a semester in February 2023: a spring semester on wheels… a time when, literally and figuratively, the harshness of winter gives way to renewal.

First, a working environment reminiscent of chalets, a view over the River Rhine at the Center for African Studies, and many researchers. Warm support from the entire Centre team in general and, in particular, the follow-up by Dr Veit Arlt lending tireless support before and during the sojourn. Then, how not to mention the Basler “Fasnacht” (my first carnival experience in vivo) that set the tone for my eclectic academic stay in Basel (carnival atmosphere, committed message, generosity, parody etc.).

Then the challenging seminars and symposia at the University of Basel immersed me in current scientific debates and methodological and epistemological questions. I enjoyed the framework and resources of libraries (Universitätsbibliothek, University Library Rosental…), great moments with researchers willing to exchange and discuss in a friendly way, but also sessions working on the dissertation thesis in the company of doctoral students of the Graduate School of Social Sciences G3S and with participants of the Research Seminar on Quantitative Data Analysis in African Studies and other sessions and workshops.

In addition, magnificent landscapes, the River Wiese, the mountains, and the caves far from the beaten track offer contemplation and provide a unique setting for meditation while far from home. Amazingly, exploring the city and the surroundings by bicycle is so easy and pleasant. My bike, “Bestie from Basel”, and I had unique moments between hills and stops to contemplate the breathtaking landscape on very busy paths or less frequented routes.

This stay was an exceptional moment for me academically, personally and socio-culturally, a space for reflection, work, and escape but also an ideal setting to find myself… Finally, my time in Basel was both stimulating for my thesis and for addressing its challenges and on a personal level through unique and magnificent encounters: I have thoroughly enjoyed my “Basel spring”.

Albert Tibaijuka – it feels like a homecoming

Albert Tibaijuka – it feels like a homecoming

Albert Kazaura Tibaijuka
Albert Kazaura Tibaijuka

Receiving a postdoc fellowship from the Oumou Dilly Foundation to join the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel, feels like a homecoming. I was in Basel between 2012 and 2016 for my PhD studies. My stay in the city at the time was a great honour and a tremendous experience, which broadened my horizons in a very remarkable manner. Back in Tanzania, the nostalgia followed me all along like my own shadow. I was thousands of miles from Basel but still cherished the mind-blowing life in that town; and you see? I’m back!!! I am deeply grateful to the Foundation, the Centre, and the St. Augustine University of Tanzania for making this return possible and offering yet another academic research opportunity. A special thank you goes to Barbara Buser and Max Honegger for receiving me back to their family. I simply cannot explain how thankful I am to you all.

My return to Basel has indeed been a privilege because it allowed me to attend weekly seminars like the Colloquium for Research in African Studies and the course Quantitative Analysis for African Studies, both offered by Prof. Elísio Macamo. Similarly, I participated in the weekly Colloquium in Social Anthropology organized by Prof. George-Paul Meiu, as well as in the African Politics Research Group convened by Dr. Michael Aeby. I had the opportunity to present my research project in the Methodological Challenges workshop, jointly organized by Prof. Elísio Macamo and Prof. Rose Marie Beck (Leipzig) and received valuable feedback. Likewise, I benefitted from a second workshop they organized under the title „Is Methodology the Only Way?“ These academic gatherings offered me deep understandings of methodological approaches and challenges, and also allured me to thought-provoking debates such as the (geo)politics and hierarchies of knowledge; reversing the gaze; decolonizing African studies; the problems of scientific knowledge production and a call for non-academic research; just to mention a few.

The opportunity to return to Basel, once again, has not only exposed me to the intellectual eagerness and enthusiasm prevailing at the University of Basel, but also allowed me to indulge in the city’s attractions: the hills; the bridges, ferries and barges on the river Rhein; the Zoo; the incredible precision of the weather forecast and of the public transport; the Saturday flea market on Peterplatz; and the food market at Markthalle. Do you think I was to forget mentioning the fondue, raclette, ravioli, roesti, asparagus, and the ‘Unser Bier’? No. I am in Basel.

 

Albert Kazaura Tibaijuka

Albert Kazaura Tibaijuka

Albert Kazaura Tibaijuka

Albert Kazaura Tibaijuka joined the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel in Switzerland on a ten-months’ Oumou Dilly postdoc fellowship (February – November, 2023). He is a lecturer in communication studies and chairs the Postgraduate Studies Directorate at St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT). He is also a co-ordinating editor of African Communication Research Journal. more

Antoinette Danebaï Lamana

Antoinette Danebaï Lamana

Antoinette Danebaï Lamana

Antoinette Danebaï Lamana is a PhD candidate in a joint program between the University of Douala and the University of Lille. As an assistant at the University of Douala, she supervises students in the Department of Sociology; at the University of Lille, she is a Guest Lecturer in the Master’s programs IDEVAH (Development Engineering and Humanitarian Action) and GAED (Geography, Planning, Environment, and Development).
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03/2023 – Nyeleni – six female photographic perspectives Part II (exhibition)

Nyeleni – six female photographic perspectives, Part II (exhibition)

March 2023

After the ten-day workshop in Bamako in December 2021, the six female photographers – Fatoumata Diabate, Oumou Diarra, Dickonet, Mariam Niare, Kani Sissoko and Oumou Traore – continued to work on their individual photo series for over a year. Via Zoom and WhatsApp, the curators Franziska Jenni, Joyce Pennekamp and Delphine Gatinois regularly entered into a creative exchange with them about the emerging series of works.

Finally, on 7 March 2023, the exhibition was successfully opened in Bamako at Lassana Igo Diara’s Galerie Medina in the presence of an interested audience. In the last four weeks, various school classes from high schools and Bamako’s Conservatoire, led by Yamarou Photo Collective, visited the exhibition and entered into dialogue with the women photographers about their works.

https://www.facebook.com/nyeleniproject


Fatoumata Diabate, Oumou Diarra, Mariam Niare, Oumou Traore, Dicko Traore à la Galerie Medina, Bamako, Mali, 2023

Après l’atelier de dix jours à Bamako en décembre 2021, les six femmes photographes – Fatoumata Diabate, Oumou Diarra, Dickonet, Mariam Niare, Kani Sissoko et Oumou Traore – ont continué à travailler sur leurs séries de photos individuelles pendant plus d’un an. Via Zoom et WhatsApp, les commissaires Franziska Jenni, Joyce Pennekamp et Delphine Gatinois ont régulièrement entamé un échange créatif avec elles sur les séries d’œuvres émergentes.

Enfin, le 7 mars 2023, l’exposition a été inaugurée avec succès à Bamako, à la Galerie Medina de Lassana Igo Diara, en présence d’un public intéressé. Au cours des quatre dernières semaines, plusieurs classes de lycées et du Conservatoire de Bamako, dirigées par le Collectif Photo Yamarou, ont visité l’exposition et ont entamé un dialogue avec les femmes photographes sur leurs œuvres.

https://www.facebook.com/nyeleniproject


 

Mamadou Soma

Mamadou Soma

Mamadou Soma

Mamadou Soma est un artiste/comédien/danseur originaire du Burkina Faso. Née à Banfora à l’ouest du pays, il a eu son premier contact avec le théâtre en 2012, avant de rejoindre l’École Supérieure de Théâtre Jean Pierre Guingané à Ouagadougou, où il a obtenu son premier diplôme. À sa sortie de l’école, il participe à de nombreux spectacles de théâtre et de danse avec différents metteurs en scène.
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Mamadou Soma – un jeune comédien à l’Accademia Teatro Dimitri à Versico

Mamadou Soma – un jeune comédien à l’Accademia Teatro Dimitri à Versico

Mamadou Soma

Je suis arrivé en Suisse en novembre 2020 pour suivre un Master en théâtre physique à l’Accademia Teatro Dimitri à Verscio. Il faut noter que ce n’était pas ma première fois de venir en Europe. Mais cette année était particulière à cause de la pandémie qui avait fait que tout était fermé. Malgré le fait que tout était clos, l’école a gardé ses portes ouvertes. Ce fut une bouffée d’oxygène et d’espoir dans cette période de désespoir et d’incertitude. Je me suis rapidement fait des amis et une famille qui m’ont aidé à comprendre cette nouvelle vie que je venais de commencer au Tessin et en Suisse tout entière.

Mon séjour à Verscio fut extrêmement riche en apprentissage, tant sur le plan humain que culturel. Situé dans la partie italienne, Verscio se distingue par la beauté de ses paysages et de ses montagnes, ainsi que par le calme et la tranquillité qui inspirent à se concentrer sur le travail. Mes week-ends étaient en partie marqués par des randonnées méditatives et la communion avec la nature dans les montagnes. Sans oublier les lacs et les rivières, qui constituaient des endroits de détente. Ma vie étudiante fut marquée par la qualité des intervenants et la possibilité de suivre des cours qui me plaisaient dans les autres universités de Suisse, à savoir Lausanne, Zurich et Berne.

Mamadou Soma

Très vite, Verscio est devenu un endroit où je me sentais bien, où je me sentais en sécurité pour étudier et atteindre mon objectif suprême, celui d’obtenir mon diplôme de Master. Il faut noter que tout cela n’aurait pas été possible sans le soutien financier de la Fondation Oumou Dilly, que je ne cesserai jamais de remercier. Cette expérience fut si inspirante que j’ai développé dans le même temps un projet de recherche artistique sur la décolonisation du théâtre au Burkina Faso et en Afrique de l’Ouest, en transformant les rites de passage traditionnels sénoufo en une performance inclusive et participative pour relever les défis du développement socio-économique et politique local à travers l’art. C’est avec ce projet que je souhaite poursuivre au niveau doctoral.

 

08/2022 – Some impressions from the fifth CASB – CODESRIA Summer School in Dakar

Some impressions from the fifth CASB – CODESRIA Summer School in Dakar

August 2022

In August, the fifth Summer School in African Studies and Area Studies in Africa took place in Dakar. For one week, 27 laureates from 14 different African countries engaged intensively with the question „How political is knowledge?“ Some impressions and highlights of this week can be seen in this video kindly provided by CODESRIA.


En août, la cinquième Ecole d’été du CODESRIA – CASB en études africaines et études régionales en Afrique a eu lieu à Dakar. Pendant une semaine, 27 lauréats de 14 pays africains différents se sont engagés de manière intensive dans une réflexion sur la question „A quel point le savoir est-il politique ?“ Quelques impressions et moments forts de cette semaine peuvent être vus dans cette vidéo aimablement mise à disposition par CODESRIA.