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In 2015 and 2016 students at South African universities campaigned under the banner #FeesMustFall for the abolition of tuition fees. Little public attention however has been paid to the alliances of students and workers in parallel #EndOutsourcing campaigns for fair labour practices for all university workers. Heike Becker asks what were the trajectories of the student-worker movements for insourcing of all workers at public institutions of higher learning? And what did they have in common with similar campaigns that arose at the same time also at universities in the United Kingdom?

Heike Becker reflects on an exhibition that foregrounded black subjects in 19th and early 20th century art. The exhibition restored the identities of the black models, often naming them for the very first time. Heike challenges us to face head-on the colonising act of invisibilising the black subject and fieldworker, without whose contributions the celebrated cultural and intellectual accomplishments of ‘Western’ scholars and artists would not have been possible.

Heike Becker writes about Claude Lanzmann’s close encounter with Frantz Fanon in 1961, and his fierce anti-colonial activism. Becker argues that we must remember the French filmmaker for more than his engagement with the European holocaust experience and his controversial support of Israel. Lanzmann took an ardent anti-colonialist stand against France’s colonial war in Algeria.

Heike Becker writes about the many uprisings in Africa’s 1968 and that these protests and revolts highlight the fact that Africa should not be left blank on the map of scholarship that seeks to understand 1968 in a global perspective. Yet, these revolts and protests are still forgotten in the global discourse of commemoration. This week roape.net will focus on the extraordinary African dimensions of the movements in 1968.

Heike Becker reports on the important Rosa Luxemburg conference in Berlin, which focused on Africa. However, the conference left her feeling profoundly uneasy. How can an event that claims to “question power” on the continent ignore the popular movements, mostly of young people, against authoritarian regimes, against enduring racism, austerity, and myriad forms of social inequality? Whose power, she asks, is not questioned?

Heike Becker writes about the recent European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) in Basel, Switzerland, the 7th of the now well-established bi-annual gatherings of the European African Studies network AEGIS. Becker observes that epistemological queries were key to the conference, with important questions raised about how knowledge of the continent is produced.