Interviews - ROAPE
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Interviews

In the second interview in the series, Talking Back, Rama Salla Dieng speaks to Hilina Berhanu and Aklile Solomon about the feminist movement in Ethiopia. Founders of The Yellow Movement at Addis Ababa University, they speak about Ethiopia’s patriarchal society, the momentary hope in the new government and their continued activism across the country....

In a wide-ranging interview with Lyn Ossome, Rama Salla Dieng and Françoise Kpeglo Moudouthe discuss her politics and activism. Ossome argues that the maintenance of a façade of stability in societies across Africa has depended on the exploitation, super-exploitation, discrimination and violations of women and gendered bodies more broadly....

Rama Salla Dieng introduces a series of interviews with African feminists that roape.net will be posting in the coming weeks. In recent months across Africa we have witnessed women taking to the street to reclaim a fairer and more just world. In these protests and movements woman have often played a leading role. In interviews conducted by Rama, young African feminists will discuss how they are theorising their practice and philosophies....

In an interview with Mondli Hlatshwayo, ROAPE's Leo Zeilig asks about his activism and research on the South African working class, precarious labour and unions. Mondli, who has just won ROAPE’s Ruth First Prize, argues that precariousness is as old as capitalism itself and it is only the collective strength of workers in unions, or outside the formal union structures, that can push back the frontiers of precariousness....

In ROAPE’s final Connections workshop in Johannesburg in December last year we discussed the dynamics of resistance and transformation on the continent. In this blogpost we publish interviews with participants which provides an extraordinary account of the workshop and the struggles, politics and research of the activists who attended....

In a wide-ranging interview for roape.net Tamás Gerőcs speaks to the Nigerian Marxist Femi Aborisade. From his early days as a labour militant in the 1970s and 1980s, organsing and building socialist and labour organisations, Aborisade discusses the crisis of capitalism in Nigeria today and the struggles against it....

ROAPE’s Leo Zeilig interviews the Kenyan activist Gacheke Gachihi who is the coordinator of the Mathare Social Justice Centre in Nairobi, which organises campaigns against police brutality and killings. He speaks about the struggles over the last twenty five years against police brutality and extra-judicial killings in Nairobi and some of the organisations and social movements that are confronting the Kenyan state on this issue. Gacheke also introduces an extraordinary short documentary, just released, which charts the campaigns against these killings, from within Nairobi’s poorest settlements. ...

Sudanese activists in Europe continue to build solidarity for the revolutionary struggle that has, since mid-December, spread across Sudan. What are the dynamics of the uprising, and what is the role of the diaspora? For roape.net, Joe Hayns translates and introduces an interview with Mohamed El-Nour, an activist with the ‘Sudanese Revolutionaries and their Supporters in Marseille’ collective. ...

Max Ajl speaks to the Marxist economist Utsa Patnaik about agrarian history and imperialism. Her work on the economic history of India and other countries under colonial rule, shows how the experience deepened food insecurity and unemployment, trends which reemerged again under neoliberalism. The interview was conducted as part of the activities of the workshop on ‘Agriculture and Imperialism’ in November 2018, Beirut, Lebanon, organised by the Thimar Collective....

Tamás Szentes, Professor Emeritus of the Corvinus University of Budapest (the former Karl Marx University), elected full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, is ‘one of the grand old men of development economics.’[1] His first celebrated book in English, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment (published first in 1971, republished in nine languages and ten different countries, totalling altogether 16 editions in the first fifteen years of publication) was praised in ROAPE in 1974 as ‘a serious and comprehensive attempt at providing a true political economy of underdevelopment.’ For a while he was one of the contributing editors of ROAPE, and between 1967 and 1971 worked together with ROAPE activists and researchers such as Lionel Cliffe, Peter Lawrence, John Saul, and Issa Shivji, at the University of Dar es Salaam. In an interview for roape.net Tamás Gerőcs asks Tamás Szentes about the years he spent......

On the anniversary of Steve Biko’s murder, ROAPE’s Remi Adekoya speaks to South African scholar and activist Mosa Phadi. Phadi reflects on the legacy of Biko’s radical and important thought, but also discusses how he did not consider cohesive alternatives that could now serve as a counter to neoliberal ideas. In a wide-ranging interview Phadi also looks at the political and economic crisis in South Africa, the Economic Freedom Fighters, the failures of the ANC and the possibilities of a solution in the militancy and consciousness of working-class struggle....

In an interview conducted in 2003, ROAPE’s Leo Zeilig spoke to Nelson Chamisa who was then the National Youth Chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) In the early 2000s, the MDC was a very different organization, founded by a mass movement, with a large working-class membership many in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). Now leader of the MDC, Chamisa promises his supporters victory in the elections and resistance if he does not win. In 2003 the 25-year-old organizer of a mass party, reflects on his own activism as a student militant, his hope for socialist change and the struggles against neo-liberal forces in the new party....

Remi Adekoya interviews Pascal Bianchini about Senegal’s street fighting years from 1968 to the mid-1970s. It was a period of growth for the revolutionary left and it forced a multi-party system on the government of Léopold Senghor, which at the time was not that usual in Africa. Bianchini argues that the democratisation in the country started in 1968 and was driven by the left, leading to major political changes in subsequent decades....

For roape.net Max Ajl interviews radical geographer and activist Habib Ayeb about food sovereignty, the peasantry in North Africa and film-making. Ayeb is a founder member of the Observatory of Food Sovereignty and Environment and Max Ajl is a sociologist, activist and an editor at Jadaliyya and Viewpoint. The interview was conducted on March 4, 2018, in Tunis, Tunisia....

In an interview with ROAPE’s Tunde Zack-Williams, roape.net asks about his background as a radical political economist who has written extensively on Sierra Leone. Zack focuses in the interview on the country’s recent history, it political parties, Blair’s intervention and the disasters of neoliberal reforms. The recent elections in Sierra Leone offer the poor little prospects of development or change....

In an interview for roape.net South African activist Nombuso Mathibela reflects on the student (and workers) movement in the country. Mathibela appeals for a new, radical politics that challenges patriarchy and sexist behaviour, and involves at every level black women and non-binary people in the struggle....

ROAPE talks to Matteo Rizzo about his research in Dar es Salaam, radical political economy and his new book. Taken for a Ride is an important contribution demonstrating the continued analytical relevance of radical political economy, challenging the claim that class analysis is necessarily dogmatic and reductionist....

ROAPE’s Janet Bujra discusses life and politics with Marjorie Mbilinyi, a fighter for gender and class equality on the continent. The interview is a powerful and critical account of fifty years of campaigning against patriarchal oppression on many fronts in Tanzania, in which Mbilinyi has herself been at the forefront. ...

roape.net interviews Samir Amin, the Marxist economist, writer and activist. Amin is one of the continent’s foremost radical thinkers, who has spent decades examining Africa’s underdevelopment and Western imperialism. With great originality and insight he has applied Marxism to the tasks of socialist transformation in Africa. ...

In the latest interview for roape.net, Nigerian socialist Abiodun Olamosu talks about his early activism, the challenges for the radical left, Marxism and politics in contemporary Nigeria. He argues that there is a need to develop a real pro-poor alternative in the arena of mainstream electoral politics, and for the working class to mobilise across the country. ...

In this far-reaching interview, ROAPE’s Ray Bush argues that the products and commodities that rural people produce must sustain local demand and local needs, rather than produce export crops to generate foreign exchange on the international markets. The foundation of any modern society has to be the basis of generating sufficiently and appropriately priced food stuffs from local markets. This is the path, he argues, to a real alternative for societies in the Global South....

In a major interview ROAPE’s Hakim Adi discusses his work, activism and politics. Adi has spent year’s researching the African diaspora, Pan-Africanism and communism in the 20th century. On the anniversary of the 1917 revolution he explains that the significance of 1917 is not so much as how it helps us understand the past, or as a way of understanding Africa’s history, but rather that it shows that the alternative can be created in the present and future....

In an interview with ROAPE Explo Nani-Kofi looks at his involvement (and opposition) in the project of radical change briefly embarked on by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings in 1980s Ghana. After several years, left-wing opponents of the regime were imprisoned and at the same time the country became a test case for structural adjustment. Nani-Kofi describes his experiences....

For roape.net Heike Becker interviews the German scholar and activist of Southern Africa Reinhart Kössler. Reinhart unpicks the frustrations of national liberation, the reproduction of the same patterns of inequality and social cleavage in the new states, Germany's colonial genocide in Namibia and solidarity and activism in Europe....

ROAPE's Leo Zeilig talks to Yao Graham about radical political economy in Africa, structural transformation and the legacy of neo-liberalism on the continent. In the short video clip included in the interview Graham speaks about the struggle for justice and change in Ghana. Graham is the co-ordinator of Third World Network in Accra, Ghana and the Africa Editor of ROAPE....

ROAPE’s Leo Zeilig talks to Lara Pawson about Angola, the left, writing about Africa from Europe, and the long process of uncovering what happened across newly independent Angola after the vinte-sete de maio (27 May) in 1977. ...

ROAPE’s Leo Zeilig talks to Trevor Ngwane about political developments in South Africa, the crisis in the ANC, the growth of new struggles on the left, in the universities and workplaces. Ngwane is a long-standing socialist activist, researcher and writer. ...

ROAPE’s Leo Zeilig talks to Antonater Tafadzwa Choto about the ongoing economic crisis in Zimbabwe, the impact on ordinary people, and some of the factors that are likely to worsen or mitigate the crisis in forthcoming years. Choto is a well-known labour activist, researcher and currently director of the Zimbabwe Labour Centre....

Activist and radical scholar Issa Shivji explains how ROAPE emerged from the womb of the struggles from which the founders had come in the 1970s. Today the project of radical transformation, of revolution, on the continent remains central to the real life struggles of the working masses....