Can collaborative knowledge production decolonize epistemology?
Keywords:Decoloniality, representation, collaboration, knowledge production, forced migration
A critical engagement with representation, positionality, and power inequalities has become increasingly common in research and publication projects in the field of forced migration studies. Indeed, the field has drawn on decolonial frameworks to move towards more inclusive perspectives. Nevertheless, the challenge in decolonizing knowledge production is to consider the rich spectrum of knowledges and knowledge production, while remaining aware of complexities and tensions, to avoid further marginalizing already-marginalized actors. This article stimulates a discussion that critically reflects on the structures and power relations in which collaboration processes form. I draw on forms of collaboration applied in my research, primarily co-authorships with refugee research partners, to reflect on methodological challenges and questions of legitimacy, from positions of hegemonic academic knowledge production. An epistemic decolonization through collaborative knowledge production can only occur if researchers practise emancipatory and ethical scholarship that revalues marginalized actors’ perspectives and agendas, while also actively decentring the western hegemonic academy.
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