Six CSSR presentations at the International Conference on Community Psychology (ICCP), 2016Date Released: Mon, 13 June 2016 10:02 +0200
The 6th International Conference on Community Psychology was held from 27 to 30 May 2016 at the Durban International Convention Centre in South-Africa. CSSR members presented six papers at the conference. The aim of the conference was to create a safe space to dialogue on the dominant knowledge considered to be largely shaped by imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, globalization, ethnocentrism and racism. The conference was hosted by the University of South Africa, South African Medical Research Council and Psychological Society of South Africa. Delegates came from all over the world including, South America, United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, and Jamaica.
The welcome remarks were presented by Mohammed Seedat and Shahnaaz Suffla, who were the respective chair and co-chair of ICCP 2016. An opening address was given by the vice – principle of Research and Innovation from the University of South-Africa. The conference had three tracks, which included: knowledge production and contestation in community psychology; decoloniality, power and epistemic justice and community psychology in context.
On Saturday 28 May, three Critical Studies of Sexualities and Reproduction (CSSR) members presented their papers. The first to present was Nicola Jearey-Graham. Her presentation was titled, “Dialogues of sexualities: An action research project”. In the afternoon, Catriona Macleod presented a paper on: “What is wrong with the ‘adolescent’ sexual and reproduction health rights approach? Introducing a transnational feminist perspective”. Later in the afternoon, Ingrid lynch presented paper co-authored by Tracy Morison and other colleagues. The paper was titled, “What’s love got to do with it? Love and narratives of normalization in township-based South African adolescents’ talk about intimate partner violence”. These papers presented research addressing inequalities, prejudice and discrimination against women and young people, and the need to create dialogical spaces to discuss sexuality and to disrupt the normalization of intimate partner violence amongst young people.
On Sunday the 28th of May, Tracey Feltham-King presented a paper titled: “The pregnant teenager and technologies of risk management in the antenatal clinic: implications for community reproductive health psychology”. In the afternoon, Kim Barker presented a paper on “‘Caring with’ rather than ‘caring for’: The potential of political critiques /resistance and mutual care in responding to sexual violence” in a session on the Silent Protest, an annual event held at Rhodes University. In this session, presenters reminded the audience of the problem of rape in South Africa and how universities are trying to offer safe spaces to contest/disrupt the rape culture that exists within and outside institutions.
Lastly, later in the afternoon, Mercy Nhamo-Murire presented a paper on a review of lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) people’s experiences of the nursing encounter, in which she asked about the role that community health psychologists play. The papers in this session all pointed to the limited involvement of LGB patients in the nursing encounter and other public health spaces. The papers agreed on the agency for public health spaces to rethink ways that don’t stigmatize LGB individuals but offer safe avenues to dialogue with LGB individuals and understand their specific needs.
As the conference concluded on Monday the 30th of May, it was clear that all the presentations resonated on the importance of dialogue on critical knowledge and liberation in Community Psychology. It was a space to reflect on the contribution that community psychologists are making in various public health arenas and communities, and on the importance of unraveling/disrupting the normalization of social (in) justices exhibited in race, sexuality, gender, and class. The question that arises is how best to execute these processes.
by Mercy Murire