Salter Lecture 2018
Welcome. Friends, to. Ely. Meeting and a. Particularly, warm, welcome. From the, Quaker. Socialist. Society. And. To. Our. 2018. Salter, lecture. My. Name is Mick, Langford, I am the clock. To, qss. And. We. Thought it appropriate. Perhaps for people who are not so familiar with qss, and thus. Alters for. Me just to say one or two introductory, words. About. Them, about. Qss, and. Then. We will get into the lecture. Itself. And. Following. The. Lecture. I. Have. A few notices. Qss. Is. Not. The first Quaker, socialist, society. The. Socialist, Quaker society, was. Founded in. 1898. With. The core aims to. Advance socialist. Principles, amongst. Quakers, and to. Persuade Quakers, of. Their. Unique, position. Just. For the spread of socialism. Many. Quakers were also active or in touch with the Fabian Society. Which. Reprinted. A work, by John Woolman. It. Might also be suggested. That. The Quaker socialists. Of their time. Reintroduced. John. Woolman to. Britain British, friends. The. Sqs. The. Socialist. Quaker society. Continued. In existence until, 1928. At. Which point it might have felt that, its job had been done. However. It. Was friends, thought it necessary to. Introduce. A further. Society, in 1975. The, Quaker socialist, society, which has, remained in existence since, then. The. Quaker socialist, society, is. Aiming, to provide fellowship. For Quakers, committed, to socialist, ideas, and to. Promote Quaker, influence. Within the, Socialist. Movement. Our. First, pamphlet. In. 1977. Refers. To the, foundations. Of a, true social, order as, the. Starting point of our. Work. Qss. Is not. Limited, to connections. With. Any particular political. Party. In. Keeping. With Quakers. Spiritual, understanding. We. Remain open to. New light. We. Seek to discern, new. Movements. In the. Spirit, and. Actuality. Of our age. That. Speak to our concern, for. Social and climate. Justice. There. Why the Salter, lecture. Alfred. And ADA Salter, were. Quakers, at. The turn of the 20th century, and into, the early decades of, that. Century. They. Were initially. Members of the Independent, Labour Party, and subsequently. The Labour Party. Alfred. Was. An MP an ADA. Was. One of the first women councillors, in London, and the. First woman. Mayor of a, Labour borough of a London borough. But. This tells little of their story. Working. Out of Alfred's. Medical, practice in Bermondsey. It. Is no exaggeration to, say that they. Were that. They transformed. Their local borough. Community. And. Environment. In which they lived and. They. Were of national, influence. To. Their. Stories, are heroic. Inspirational. And poignant. For. Qss. Today we. Seek to learn from. Their application. Of ethical. Socialism. In practice. Reuters. As it rooted as it was in their. Nonconformist. Faith I. Will. Now turn. To, Tim. G. Who. Will introduce, our, speaker for, the 2018. Sort. Election. So. Bringing. Us. Up. To more recent times last, year.
We. Heard prepared. Ministry. Reflecting. On Jesus's, parable of, binding, the strong one and, that, was reflected, in our minutes. 38. Where. We said together, the. World is not, divided, into, them and us. We. All need, to be bound and we all need to be liberated and, transformed. Working. In partnership, with others can lead, us to question our own practices. For. Only when we are working on ourselves. Can. We witness, and speak, beyond. Friends. So. I'm very happy to introduce our, Salter. Lecturer for this year Diana Jeter to. Share something of her. Process, of, questioning. A, little. Bit about her diana, has been working on Zimbabwean. History since 1982. During. Which she says she's learnt as much. Or more about herself as about, Zimbabwe past. Her. Research is rooted. In a. Commitment, to equality and tries to expose, how power relationships. Within and between communities. Have. Damaged the possibilities, for, deep human, connections. She. Is an editor of the Journal of southern african studies and is. Emeritus, professor. Of African Studies at Uwe, Bristol, she. Also spent two years as senior program manager at wood brick. Diana. Is currently based at the university, of louisville and is, working on a long-term project in tandem with the National Peace and Reconciliation, Commission in Zimbabwe, to provide, deep, histories, of, traditional, grassroots, reconciliation. And community. Healing, practices. Reflecting. On this experience, and on her Quaker faith the. Theme of Diana's lecture is Britain. Africa. And Quakers, and will. Be explored, through the question. Bearing. Witness or, bearing. Whiteness. Diana, will speak for about 50 minutes followed. By some time for questions and reflections as. Is. Customary at yearly meeting we, will start and finish in silence. Upholding, Diana and Diana. Will speak when, she's ready. Thank. You friends. Before. I start, I'd like to thank, Tim. And Mick. And Graham. Taylor, for. Inviting me. To. Present. The. Salter lecture this year. And. I'd, also like to thank, the many friends that I've spoken with in, preparing. What. I have to say today. So. I saw in, some. Of the materials, that were circulated. To advertise, this lecture that I'm, an expert on Africa. Which. Is quite a tall order. As. You probably know. Africa. Is the world's largest continent. Not. Many people realize how very big, it, is you. Can fit the whole of Europe Russia. The. US China. And India. Into. Africa's, land space and you will still have little, bits of room left over. There. Are 54. Nations, in Africa and an, estimated. 1,500. To. 2,000. Languages. It. Includes. Nigeria. Which is the fifth wealthiest. Nation. In the Commonwealth, by. GDP. And. If we're talking about wealth it also includes Angola, which, not many people know but Angola. Actually. Bailed, out Portugal. During. The 2008, financial crash.
And. Of course it. Includes, Zimbabwe, which, is where I work on. Africa. Has an extraordinary, diversity of, habitats, including. Deserts. Grasslands. Rain, forests. Mountains. River. Basins, and at least three climate, zones. So. It really is a very big. Very. Diverse. Part. Of the planet. Interesting. Then when I tell people that I work on Africa, how. Often they say things like I went. On holiday to Africa, one, or. I'm. Involved in supporting a project in Africa. Now. Of course it's not Africans, that say that to me, and. On the whole it's not people from the Caribbean or. Latin America, or Asia. Southeast. Asia who say those sorts of things it is overwhelmingly. People. From. What we might call the white world. In. Britain. You've. Probably already noticed, that white, people tend, to regard Africa. From, the viewpoint of either consumers. Or donors. As. A place where they go on holiday, or as. A place where, they do good and. Frequently. Both. Of those things combined, which, is something I'll come back to. There. Is a tendency, to regard. Africa. As a. Single, place a place. To, provide by poverty, and. Wildlife. And, rather. Noisy, dancing. And. As, a historian I. Find. All of that interesting. And. When I say this is what white, people do obviously, I'm, including, us British. Quakers, in that. Because. As we know we. Are very white. Of. Course, most Quakers, have black skins and live. In Africa, but. We don't think of Quakerism, as, an African faith, in. Fact. Only yesterday, there was a post on Facebook about the Cleveland, Ohio mission, to Kenya in 1902. That, founded, Kenyan Quakerism, that. Now constitutes. I. Think. Currently over half of all the Quakers, in the world, as. Over, half, of all, the Quakers, in the world you think we might have noticed that my NIC and yet. The, comments, on this Facebook post were Wow. That's interesting. Who, new. Friends. Why. Don't we know. Chimamanda. Ngozi Adichie. The, nigerian, novelist. Gave. Her a. Totally. Viral all over the internet TED, talk, about. What she called the single, story of Africa. How. When we talk of Africa, we, just tend, to tell one, story as, though. It could possibly begin, to represent, such a huge in diverse place. And. Within. British Quakers, the story that we tell ourselves about, our relationships, with Africa tends. To be about what we do to, help. It's. A good story. Quaker. African interest group is full. Of people who do really excellent, work on the continent. This. Isn't true of all the people who go there to help. You. May be aware of the critiques of development. Development. Is after all a massive, international, industry, and if. People in Africa, stop being poor and needy, there, wouldn't be an industry. So. The, industry itself has a vested, interest in. Africa. Being. A story of poor people in need of help. I've. Actually published a blog piece on this which again gets very widely circulated called.
Parasites, On the poor. But. Most of the work done by people within the Quaker African interest group are, not like that this. Isn't the kind of work they do they tend to do. Grassroots. Work. With. Friends. With. Capital F's and small F's at. The grassroots, level around things that are of direct interest to us as Quakers. I'm. Sure. Most of you are aware of the work of turning the tide in in, East Africa, for example. At. The most. Recent, Quaker. African interest group meeting we, heard about the green olive trust, which. Is an educational, foundation that, works in Kenya. There. Are a long term projects. Around peace, and development in the Congo. There's. Our piece work in Sierra Leone. I'm. Very. Close to my own heart, there's, a wonderful work. Curated. If you like, overseen. By by, Milton Keynes meeting, with. Lou Queenie in. Zimbabwe. But. This work is still defined by, us as the donors and the. Experts, and, people, in Africa, as. The recipients. So. When we asked friends from Africa to deliver our swathmore, lecture, we, weren't surprised, that. They spoke about peace work and development. And their, problems with donor expectations. What. We should have been surprised, about perhaps. Was. That we didn't ask them to speak. About their, spiritual, lives. Sometimes. A, lot. Of the time being. Donors makes us feel good about ourselves. Not. Surprisingly, it's, better than the alternatives. After all yes. We're doing good in the world we're helping people that's much better than being Donald Trump. But. Often it makes us feel uncomfortable. Especially. When we're there on the ground and people. Ask us for money. And. That, that. Discomfort, is partly, because of our awareness of our colonial history. Do. We owe these people. Partly. It's. Because we're aware of our privileges. And. Partly. It's just because the whole situation is so unfair, and we know that we're on the wrong side of, that unfairness. I. Want. To read to you friends, a wonderful. Minute, well actually minutes, 17, to 19 of, the, fWCC. Central, Executive Committee, of March, 7. 2017. Titled. Issues. Of privilege and historical. Injustice. We. Have taken up a concern, raised. By several, friends. For fact for how FWC. Sees work in every. Part of the globe is affected. By a history, of colonialism, and inequality. And by. Media, distortions. That influence. Perceptions, of people in other parts of the world. Too. Often, friends, in wealthier, countries, only see images of people elsewhere in situations. Of poverty misery and need. While. Friends in poorer countries, see, media images as if all people in wealthier, countries, were, prosperous, and successful. We. Too often hurt. Each other by. Assumptions, we make stories. We tell. Misunderstandings. Favoritism. And superficial. Relationships. Even. As we commit to forgiveness it is, difficult to forget or undo, long-standing, and justices, and slights. We. Recognize, that a key part of FWC, sees work is to overcome, these historical, patterns and to, foster and model, authentic. Relationships. Of equality. And, mutuality. That. Requires, a willingness, to name, destructive. Patterns, as they occur, to. Recognize, when, we have made mistakes and to, ask for and offer. Genuine. Forgiveness. When. We know each other more. Fully in. Our homes families. And meetings. We. Can better understand, the full person, not. Just the cosmetics, or stereotypes. Much. Work has been done in this regard over, the past decades, but. More remains to be done. It's. A beautiful, minute. It. Expresses, an important. Discomfort. And. I want to talk more, about that, feeling, of discomfort. Because. Friends as much as the desire to help our, feelings. Of discomfort about help also. Come, from, genuine, leadings. Friends, what I've learned is that if we truly listen. To. The promptings of love and truth in our hearts. We. Begin to move away from thinking how can I help and. We. Start on a different journey. Engaging. With Africa. Takes. Us on a journey not, as Conrad proposed, into the heart of darkness.
But. Into the heart of whiteness. Which. Perhaps for Conrad was the same thing. In. Jewish. Christian. And, Muslim cultures. We. Told a story about self-awareness. Being. The fruit and. Because. Of the nature of what a fruit is also the seed of the. Tree of Knowledge. When. They ate from the tree of knowledge Adam. And Eve became self-aware, they became aware of their nakedness, and they, were ashamed. We. Have become aware of our whiteness, and, we. Have become, perhaps. A bit, ashamed. But. Like, Adam and Eve sometimes, we, want to hide from. That shame. We. Want to, share the burden of blame. We. Start to tell a story about how we misperceive, each, other. And. That's where I begin. To feel uncomfortable about, that beautiful, minute. Because. It seems to me it misses the point about historical, injustice. Historical. Injustice creates, a particular kind, of world it. Doesn't stop when colonialism. Stops, we. Are born into a world that was made by, historical. Injustice. It's. The world we still live in. And. Just. Because we're. Good and kind and mean well it. Doesn't mean we're excused. From. Or above, or apart, from the, systems of privilege that shape our world. So. We may have misunderstandings. But. We're the. Responsibility. For. Putting those rights lies I think, is not, equally. Balanced, between. Us and those whom we go to help. Our. Friends in poorer countries may, like us they. May recognize, that. We're not rich by. The obscene. Distorted. Standards, of our. Home country. We. May recognize that, they're. Perhaps more competent, and less demanding, than we had originally feared. But. However good our relationships. However much we spend time in each other's homes, we. Still have more power in the relationship, and. That. I think, is what we need to, look at. That. Is the, mutual. Misperception. That we, need to face. When. I first started teaching, in, a university, I had, a student, who was writing a dissertation about. The history of southern rhodesia stroke Rhodesia. I'm. Sure you're all aware of that history. Under. Ian Smith under UDI there, was white, minority, rule, there. Was systematic discrimination, against. Africans, in all areas, of life the. Student described all of this very well and spoke, wrote very eloquently, about the suffering, that this entailed for Africans. But. There was no explanation, in, it and I, kept pushing her to, try to get her to analyze, more in her, penultimate. Draft. Somewhat. Intemperately. I wrote. In the margins, yes. But why were they behaving towards Africans. Like this they were not nasty people they were perfectly, kind, to children and animals. When. She submitted it one, of my colleagues the comarca read it first and. Have, a look at page five and. There in the middle of page five there was a sentence, it's, very odd how, horrible, they were two Africans, because, they weren't nasty, people they were perfectly, nice to children and animals. Friends. We. Need an analysis, of power. And. We, need an analysis, of what it means to, disempower. Adam, and eve we're told felt shame in Eden that heaven, on earth well. As Quakers, we. Aim to build the kingdom of God the heaven on earth right, here because. God has no hands but ours. There. Is no place for shame, in the, kingdom of God. Self-awareness. Must. Lead to change, not. To shame. Traveling. Into, the heart of whiteness, is a. Journey. Not. A destination. It. Is what we know it is what we know in Fox's words. Experimentally. Now. I've always found advices. Inquiries 11 rather challenging. Of. Course there's some I love one number. One of course from which everything else follows, number. 27, and 28 which I think most people's favorites but, number 11 is a hard one. Be. Honest, with yourself. What. Unpalatable. Truths. Might. You be evading. In. A Satanic Verses, Salman, Rushdie observed what. You believe, depends. On what you've seen. Not. Only what is visible. But. What you are prepared, to look in the face. So. I want to talk a little about what I've learned, to look in the face and. How. I've tried to get others to see me and to. Look me in the face too. And. In this I'm. Guided, by the second, half of a, advices. Inquiries 11 which, gets, a little bit more encouraging, it. Says when. You recognize your, shortcomings. Do. Not let that discourage you. In. Worship. Together. We. Can find the assurance, of God's love and the. Strength to go on, with. Renewed courage. So. I want to tell you a little bit about my. Journey. The. First time I ever set foot on the continent, of Africa was. In. What would now call my gap year although those haven't been invented in those days. And. I. Did the hippie trail with a bunch of friends we went down to Morocco in a van. And. I. Had a revelation while I was there. That. The tourist, attraction. Was. That these people were poor. They. Didn't look like us and live like us. Because. They were poorer, than, us. And. At that point I thought I never want to do this again if I'm going to go and, see the world I want. To do it in a way where.
I'm Part of changing, things but. We've, seen that that, tourism. Engagement. Is what. Most people think about well not most people would an awful lot of people in this country think about when, they think about Africa. And. When the fWCC, minute, talks about media, representations. And misrepresentations. And how, they see us as rich we. See them as poor, the. Tourist industry has got a lot to do with that. Our. Poor. Don't. Go there. They're. Rich. Become. Assimilated with, us. Structures. Of. Tourism. Mean that. We often, don't meet each other, routinely, in a, like-for-like, context. And. That's. True of aid work as well. Increasingly. There's. Something, called ethical, tourism. Part. Of ethical, can some. Call. Consumption. In fact there's even a phrase a word. Development. Tourism or. One word development, tourism. Some. People might call it poverty tourism. But. At least it's poverty tourism, with a clean conscience, you're. Building a school. You're. Helping with some project, and. Actually. A lot of these projects. Do, very good things, but. There's a book that's just been published by. Alfonso. Baptista, who is, Mozambican. Called, the, good holiday. Development. Tourism, and the, politics, of benevolence. In Mozambique. And, in. It he says the problem with this stuff is that. It locks us into a dependency. Relationship. Where. We have to go on being worthy of benevolence. And. We. Can't move forwards, if that's. How we run our economy. So. I went to Morocco I. Thought. I don't want to do this again I don't want to be a poverty, tourist. So. I thought I know I'll go, and get involved in development I'll go and help I'll go and do good things in Africa. So. I started, to work on a doctorate on women. In Zimbabwe. People. Always said I was working on women, I. Pointed. Out that everybody else is working on men, but. Women. Seem to be a meaningful, category. In the way that men weren't in any case I was going to go and help, women, in Zimbabwe. By writing a doctorate on them I. Was. Heartened. When I started, hanging out with the development, people in aid workers in Harare in their parties, there's a lot of partys. About. How, much they talked about the need to listen to rural women. But. As I listened to them a bit more I, had. Another big revelation. They. Wanted to listen to rural women. Because. They had agendas, that they had already set, elsewhere. And, the. Problem, is for, them they, needed, women, to, buy into, those. Agendas, because. Otherwise they. Wouldn't meet their targets. The. Reason why they wanted to listen to, rural women. Was. In order more efficiently, to impose. Ideas, that they'd been formulated. Elsewhere, in a. Language, that would make them acceptable, to. Local women. So. I, thought maybe I don't want to do development after all doesn't. Really seem to be about what I'm looking for, it. Seems to be another form of imperialism. So. My doctorate. Became much more about. Sexuality. And identity and. How people express themselves and, how, the experience, of white occupation. Changed. The spaces, in which women could move and. It was intended to provide, a new, discourse, a new way of thinking about African, women as sexual, agents. In ways, that. Moved aside from the moral discourses, that had dominated them, so far. So. I got my PhD. By. The time I got my PhD I think I had lived a sum total of 15. Months in Zimbabwe. In the, whole of my life. And. Guess what I was a world expert on Zimbabwe. I, was. A world expert on Zimbabwe because, I had a doctorate, from the University, of Oxford, I. Had. Colleagues in Zimbabwe. Who. Had lived in Zimbabwe, all of their lives, who. Knew much more about Zimbabwe than, I did. But. Nobody ever asked, them to, international. Conferences as world experts, on Zimbabwe and. That. Was because. They. Came from the University, of Zimbabwe and, their, skins were not white and their, voices were.
Not Respected. I. Sometimes. Do a thought experiment with my students, I say. To them, imagine. If all of British, history, all, the respected. British history, all the stuff that you have to read about British history was, written by some Bob winds. So. A few British, people. Can. Write British, history as well but actually, all of the really good archives, about British history are insane Bob way so. You have to get funding, to go there in order to be able to use them and, the. Way that Zimbabweans, write about british history is in terms that makes sense to Zimbabweans, so. They're not really interested in, our. King, lines they're, not particularly interested, in our politicians, they're. Interested. In big, lineages. And how. Lineages, have changed, across time and, how. Marriage is negotiated. It. Doesn't fix terribly, well on. The, British history. But. That's the history we all have to read. Because. This. Is the people who make history. And. My students, got really surprised, and they find it really hard to imagine what it would be like if all, British, history was. Written by Zimbabweans, all the, history that's recognized, as worthwhile history. But. This is the everyday, reality. For. My colleagues in Zimbabwe. All. Of, the great authorities. On, Zimbabwe, in history. Including. Me are. White. So. I was beginning to think you, know this is quite hard, this. Who, I am and, what my relationship, is and what I can do to help every. Time I try to help I just seem to be, consolidating. Existing. Structures, that are making things worse. Meanwhile. Along, the way I had. Picked, up partner. He'd. Pick me up something happened anyway who. Was Zimbabwean. Growing. Up black in Zimbabwe, under in Smith, and during. A liberation war, causes. A lot of damage a lot of trauma. Most. Days things were fine but suddenly a switch, would turn, would find myself at the receiving, end of a tirade, about how, racist, I was. And. If there was one thing I was pretty sure about myself it was that I wasn't racist. So. I was very puzzled. And indeed hurt, deeply. Deeply, hurt by this, accusation. But. Because. I loved, this man I. Tried. To hear what he was saying. And. And. Eventually, I. Began. To understand, what he meant when. He accused, me of being racist. It. Was because I had privileges. That were denied to him, that. I hadn't, even noticed. This. I, learned. Experimentally. So. After. I wrote my first book I then I didn't know what to do really, I didn't. Want to go on being the expert, on sin Bob way and women I, thought. Maybe it's in Bob way and women ought to be the expert on Zimbabwean, women. So. My next book eventually, I realized, there was only one topic I could write about and that. Was about white people who. Had gone to Zimbabwe, and had, become experts. On Zimbabweans. I. Thought. That. At least I can write about. So. I began to study the very first, experts. On Africans, in, Zimbabwe. In Southern Rhodesia the, people who. Codified. The language, and the, lore and customs, and, administered. That language, and that Lauren customs, and begun to write the, anthropology, and the ethnography. And. I. Began to realize how, deep, our. Misperceptions. Of. Zimbabweans. In the, Academy, went. It. Went right back. To the beginning. All. Our, knowledge, in, the Academy, was. Compromised. Ab initio. From. The start. Because. The, white people went in there. Mostly. They meant well. But. There was only one group. That they could learn about. Zimbabwean, Africans, from and that was, Zimbabwean. Africans, so. They spoke to them, but. What they heard was. Distorted, by what was already in, their heads. We. Cannot, escape. The. History, behind. The, moment we live in. They. Heard things but they made sense of them in ways, that made sense to them not. To the Zimbabwean, say was speaking with and then.
They Wrote them down, they. Codified, the language, according to forms. Of grammar that. They were already familiar with, they. Codified the laws according. To grammars, of law, and, ways, of thinking about justice, that. They were already familiar, with. And. Then. They. Began to teach each other these, things, and. At, that point they stopped talking to Africans, because. They had the knowledge. Within. A generation. Africans. Going to school and. Being. Asked to write things in their own language. Were. Being told that they were not using, their own language, grammatically. So. I painted, myself into a corner in writing, this book I, said. I can. Have no claim to expertise. Because. My expertise. Is based in this Academy. Where. Everything, we know and every, way, in which we think is. Determined. By. A culture, from elsewhere, that. Has distorted, the way that we look at Zimbabwean. Culture. I had. In effect. Disempowered. Myself. Which. Is what, I wanted, to do. The. Problem was that nobody noticed, I. Thought. I had thrown, a massive. Challenge, to, the Academy, about. How we disempower, ourselves. And. I got review saying what a very interesting, book. It. Was at this point that I. Went to work at Wood Brook. I'd. Kind, of run out of the academic route and, I. Went to get some spiritual, soccer by working at Wood Brook instead. Because. I had now reached the, point. Where. There. Was no maneuvering. These. Are structures. Of power, every. Relationship. We have as, white. People, with. The history, of the world at our. Backs is. Compromised. By, that history. Not. Because it's the past. But. Because it has made our, present. So. When we want to do good. Which. Is a true, leading. Some. Of you I'm sure will, remember hearing, Lee Lee. Taylor who's here somewhere I saw her a moment ago speaking. So. Powerfully. A nearly meeting a couple of years ago. About. How she was led to go and work with laQuan II. That. Was a true, leading. But. Unfortunately. Our, true leadings, come, to us in a, world that is imperfect. And. When. We think of ourselves as. Saviors. When. We think of ourselves as, people who are going to do good. Then. We stop being seekers, and. Surely. As Quakers. Above. All else. We. Are seekers. So. We stopped being seekers, and instead. We begin to worry about how we appear, a. Worry. That was superbly, encapsulated. At the Quaker after an interest group earlier this year but. I think it was Bronwyn, Harwood she'll correct, me if it wasn't her. That. We are demanding. Bureaucratic. Inflexible. Cautious. And. Remote. It's. Not a great self-image really. But. Still we position ourselves as. Saviors. Who are going in to help not, least it seems because. We most commonly encounter. Africans, in a, situation, where we are white and British and rich and.
They. Are black and African, and poor. And. This is despite Nigeria. Being the fifth richest nation in the Commonwealth, despite. Angola bailing, out portugal, despite. There being at, least one african, amongst, the world's 100 richest. People. There's. A reason why we don't see those bigger pictures. It's. The world we live in that doesn't want us to see those bigger pictures. But. We're also I think dazzled. By our own aid projects. We. Know why Aid is important. Give. A man a fish and, you feed him for a day. Teach. A man to fish and. You. Know, the rest yes teach a man to fish and, he. Will be, able to feed himself for, life. Yeah. We all know that one a. Book. Has recently come, out by James Ferguson called, give a man a fish. Reflections. On the new politics of distribution. And. He says you know what. Teach. A man to fish and you, create. An unemployed, fisherman. In. Our. Contemporary neo-colonial. World. You. Teach amount of fish and he'll probably end up dead trying. To cross the Mediterranean to. Get to Italy, like. The Senegalese, fishermen, in the. 2012. Film la, Parag. Directed. By Moussa Toure. In. This neoliberal, world. There. Aren't easy solutions. Teaching. A man to fish or. Even a woman to fish. He's. Not going to help, when. We have an ecological, crisis, and, global. Disparities. Of wealth. James. Ferguson says, give a man a fish at least he can exchange it for something, within. A local. Commodity. Distribution economy. And. Actually. That's working, in, Namibia. Everyone. Has a basic income, in. Large. Parts of South Africa, lots, of people are just given a basic income by the state, it keeps, the local economy, moving, it. Creates. Circulation. Of goods. Now. I'm sure you've heard of that idea as well universal. Benefits, basic. Citizens income. We. Think is a really good socialist, idea that we're trying to push over here some of us. In. Africa. They've been doing it for a leus. How. Many of us knew that. We. Don't look to Africa for. Expertise. Instead. We. Go to Africa, to offer it. But. Africans often know more than us because. They've already been, there. City. Planning for example and resource. Crises in in over, expanding, cities. Debbie. Potts who's recently retired as a geographer from KCl, has been arguing, for years that. The USA, is reinventing.
Wheels When it comes to city planning, she's. Produced. Paper, after paper that. Shows that these questions, have already been addressed and, largely. Resolved. Not. Largely resolved, but at least beginning, to be resolved, by, thinking, going on in Africa the, thinking. At least has already been done but. It's been done by Africans, and no one takes any notice of it. Philosophies. Of race and racism. Since. Black lives matter it's becoming increasingly, of interest, we, get features, peak places, in our newspapers, very often written, by, black, journalists. How. Many people know about wooden, base work from 1988. Or hutong. His work from, 1983. We. Expect, to read women on feminism. Why. Don't we read Africans, on colonialism. And, constructions, of race. And. What. About our faith, what. About theology. Do. We perhaps. Not. Look to Africans. When. We think about spiritual. Issues. Because. Maybe just a little bit we mistrust, African. Spiritualities. We're. Very comfortable with Buddhism. Or. At least a Buddhism. That's presented, to us in Europe. But. Particularly. As unprogrammed, Quakers. Aren't we just, a little bit uncomfortable perhaps. With. Kenyan evangelism. And. Are, we uncomfortable. Even. About talking, about, that discomfort. On. That. Facebook, post yesterday, one. Comment, suggested. That Kenyan, Quakers, were. And this in itself the phrasing, as a fascinating, they, were not, kosher. Now. You might expect there to be people piling, in at that but, instead there was just one response, that said oh these. All seem like god-fearing. And God loving people. So. That's all right then. We're. Very good at being nice, when. Somebody says something that really. Needs a challenge we just kind of sign step it. But. It's harder, in my experience. To. Know each other in the things that are eternal. Than. It is to be nice. In. My. Experience, African, spirituality. Lives. Alongside. Ancestral. Spirits and other spirits, in a, very robust, way. There's. More room in African. Spirituality. For miracles to happen I. Was. In Zimbabwe last month, at. A Harare meeting house which has just that, there's no warden there at the moment but the the meeting house wardens. Space is let. Out and, there. Was a change in, tenants, and the. Tenant who was leaving claimed. That the table, and the curtains, had. Actually been bought by him, when, he moved in and that therefore they were his to take away. The. Clerk of meeting. Decided. Not to fight, him. She. Said my friend were all suffering. You. Don't need to lie to me, if you. Want to take these things, tell. Me you want to take them. This. Isn't something she would have said a few years ago but. Increasingly. As. A, spirituality. Deepened. She. Felt more and more that there is that of God in everyone, and. It, was that of God that. She was speaking to in this tenant as he left. The. Same afternoon out. Of the blue somebody. Phoned up and said I've. Got some curtains do you want them. Now. We know this happens, we. Have these stories, of our own. But. In African, spirituality. That. Happens, all, the time, because. There, is just greater, cultural. Openness. To. The work of spirits, in everyone's. Life. There's. Room to think in African, ways about, spirituality. Ways. That we don't learn enough, from we're. Happy to go to Buddhism, but. How often do we go to our own, friends. In Africa and say. Teach. Us something teach us something, spiritual. I. Was. Part of a post meeting, for worship discussion. Group in, Harare meeting some years ago and we, were talking about how, we want, to build the kingdom of heaven on earth. God. Has no hands but ours we. Are trying. To. Make this, world a better place and. What. Emerged from me from, that discussion. With. Something that stayed with me really powerfully, we. Don't want to build the, kingdom, of God.
We. Want to build the, kingdom. Mutual. Dependencies. I. Don't. Think a British Quaker, would, have come up with that. So. Why don't we share at the spiritual, level, why. Was our African swathmore lecture, not, about experiences. Of the Spirit. My experience. Is that we've learned to, distance. Ourselves. To. Other. Sometimes. To be just a little bit afraid of. People. From a different culture from. An African culture. And. That is of course because the power structures. In the, in the world have, molded, us and. Molded, us in ways that we find hard to see. The. FWCC. Minutes, noted. How, we can be afraid of saying the wrong thing of offending. Each other without meaning to, not. Understanding, accents. Upsetting. Protocols, and cultural norms and mostly. Being. British. We're. Afraid of causing, embarrassment. So. What do we want to unlearn. Who. Do we want to, disempower. We. Can't be not. White. So. How do we want white to. Be. We. Feel discomfort. Friends. What. Would make us feel comfortable. Well. I think was an easy answer to that equality. The, quality would help wouldn't it quality. Would help hugely if, he had a quality of wealth if he, had a quality of education. Well. That wouldn't make us all much more comfortable wouldn't, it, of. Course is a small matter of global social revolution, in order to achieve that but hey we're Quakers, weren't. For that that's. Where we came in, we're. Trying to build the kingdom of heaven on earth. But. Equality. Of wealth. Equality. Of education. Wealth. In what. Wealth. In cash. Wealth. In cattle. Wealth. In people. Wealth. In kinship, and the. Dependencies. That go with kinship. Maybe. Our idea of, wealth. Isn't. Everyone's idea of wealth. Equality. Of education, yeah that would be great. Education. About what. Does. The whole world want to be educated, in the things that we're educated, in. What. Language. Would. People learn. If we, had equality. Of education. What. Would, equal. Education. Be. Yes. We. Want equality. But. Whose equality. Are. We, not often, simply. Reinstall. Our, Western. Hegemonies, our, European. Legacies, and we. Don't even know, we're doing it. On. This journey that I've been on I found out that the more I learn the more I don't know we. All know that happens but. I've also found the, more we challenge power, the. More power we see. It. Is not our fault that we. Think about Africa, and aid and helping as we do, we. Live within structures, of power that frame all of us. But. When we try to think with the spirit. We. Begin to see what we cannot see. The. Shape of the world becomes different. We. Realize things we did not know before and. This. I know, experimentally. I. Learned. That I was rich. When. I was sitting outside meeting. For worship in, Harare again. And. A friend was ranting about how angry she, was at the politicians. Who are also wealthy. And they have their cars and they have their flat-screen, televisions, and, so on and and.
I Said wait a minute I. Have. Those things and. Said. Yeah but we don't mean you. But. Why not. Actually. We. Think about how we are middle-class. We. Know that people in this country, many of them are very poor. But. In global, terms. If. We take ourselves as, a benchmark we are, misunderstanding. What wealth is. We. Are all. Obscenely. Rich. So. I. Try. To think, with the spirit I try. To think with love and, thinking. With love is both painful and terrifying. How. Can we bear to. Look this in the face. In. Felix. Holt George Eliot says, it. Is not true that. Love makes all things easy. It. Makes us choose. What. Is difficult. Being. Nice and doing, good is easy. But. It doesn't get us out of existing power structures. Often. It, reinforces, them. Fortunately. Often. Our African, friends have already found ways that. We can learn from. Most. Quakers our Africans, most. Quakers, do not worship in silence. But. We like to think that we're good, at silence. In. Our, global conversation, with Africa. Perhaps. We like to talk a little too much. We. Don't know what. A genuine, global. Equality will look like. But. We won't even find, out unless, we, stop trying to lead the path towards, it. Our. Silence. Can and should. Be our, ministry. When. We bear our whiteness, bear. Means two things it, means we bring it into, the space. It. Also means we endure, it, because. The burden of privilege, is heavy. But. We can also bear, our whiteness as ministry, we. Can be the change. We. Can be silent. Let. Us think of Africans. As donors. Because. Actually, they are. The. Flow of wealth, flows. Into us. We. Just give a little bit of it back. The. Real donors, in this world are the, global poor. Let. Us think of Africans. As donors. Because. They are spiritually rich, and. We. Have much to learn from them. Let. Us think of Africans, as donors, friends. Because. That is what love requires. Thank, You friends and thank you Diana. There'll. Be opportunities, through. These next few days to keep exploring these questions. I, don't have the, events. Listing in front of me, but. If memory serves there's, a session, on Sunday afternoon. Exploring. Privilege and on Sunday morning with. An opportunity to. Worship in, the. Kenyan style. Please. To carry. On upholding. Diana and one another as. We open this space. To. Offer. Any reflections, or. Any questions, and. There. Are around, the room I believe some people willing. To hold, carry roving, microphones. Who. Are standing now. Perhaps. If you would be willing to, either raise your hand or stand. If, you, would like to. Offer. A. Reflection. Or. A question. I. Can. See a hand here. Thank, you I, I. Think, that I can, reflect back some of what you've said Diana, I spent. 14, years in East Africa, and came home with a half African, son and I know I learned, far more there than ever. I took, to, teach them, which. Was my job but. When, my son was, about 15, in this country, he, was, being. He. Was being teased in a nasty way by some people, in a racial way and. I, said to him oh darling. I do understand. And he, looked at me red. Eyed and said, mum you can't possibly. I I. Can see people alias there's a somebody, standing at the back here about. Three. Rows, up on my, left. Thank. You Diana. Reflecting. Back on lessons. That I've learned in my white. Experience. But. As a woman. Sometimes. Being, silent, doesn't amplify the, voices, not. Already, being heard. Sometimes. That just creates space for people already talking to speak louder how do we, with. Our silence. Amplify. The, voices that. Aren't already being heard. Thank. You. Working. People.
Okay. This. Is something to come up against a lot. There. Are power structures, in the world. But. As. I. Can't. Remember who said it it might have been Audrey Dodd. We. Cannot, bring down the walls of, the Masters, house. With. Masters tools. We. Don't know, what. Will happen, if. We, keep, quiet, because. We rarely stay, quiet long enough to find out. In. My experience. If. I. Uphold. African. Women in the. Ways that they, asked, me to uphold them which may be to. Ask me to speak but. In those cases I. Want. To ask them why and, how. We can try to overcome, that. They. Know, what they're talking about. Why. Do. We need to speak for them I. Understand. That. There. Are power. Structures, that, silence. All of us and, yes. We are in solidarity with, African, women but my career started, by. By going to help African, women and what I learned was I. Helped. Most by. Getting out of the way I. Realized. Other people's experiences. May be different, I. Can. See a hand 1 2 3 4, rose up. Next. To the corridor yeah. I. The. The what, you said about, academics. And institutions, and power and and having access to the stage and access to writing books and having microphones. Is. Really interesting to me and a lot, about silence, and I kind of wonder if if, you could have brought someone with you from, Zimbabwe, for this talk, it. Would have made a lot of sense in a way for me for this to be a discussion between. You and someone else because. Your perspective is interesting but there's that empty. Space. Where I'm wondering what the other person is saying so. I was wondering if you could maybe tell us about if you could have brought someone to be with you on stage today, who. Would you have brought and. Would. Prince let me just what's that now thank. You in. Fact I didn't, thank everybody for their comments and questions so I'm sorry about that. Well, actually as. As. Graham affirmed, when I was first asked to do this my first response was. Why, am i on why, am I being asked to speak and it's because, I think. Because. This is the one thing I can do as a white person I can. Say you. Know look I can speak with authority about. What it is to be white struggling, with these things and. That's. Why I'm willing to talk about it. But. Of course you're absolutely right. That's. Why I kept trying to bring in my friends, and my experiences, and with Harare meeting and there is. We. Have a roomful, of people who have had wonderful experiences. With. Our, African friends and, yet, somehow those, aren't the main things we talk about when. We talk about what we're doing with, our friends, in Africa we don't talk about our, spiritual. Journeys with them or, when. We do it's a long, side talking, about our donor. Relationships. And so on I. Just. Want us to talk to. Start. To learn. People. Who were at South. Africa Yeti meeting, all. Came, back saying we had the most amazing worship. Sharing we've never experienced. Worship sharing, like that, why. Are we not asking. Friends. From. Southern. Africa a yearly meeting to come and lead worship sharing. For us why do we, from, wood Brook go to teach them. Why. Do we not go there, to. Learn from them why. Do we not invite them here to, learn from us the, person I would love to have next to me right now and there, are people in this room who know her and I'm. So, bad with names I'll get to that age where I can't remember names I caught Roberto surname but Pannonia, Pannonia.
Who Is the clerk of hirari. Hirari. Monthly. Meeting. But. No Nia has been on an amazing journey, but. No Nia is the one who. Five. Years ago when, somebody had tried to take that table and curtains, she. Would have gone mad. At them. She. Has worked through. The. Suffering that, so. Many people in Zimbabwe, have had to cope with she. Has, changed. Her relationship. With the material, and the spiritual, and I. Have learned so much. Spiritually. From. Bono Nia and, that's. Why I would like her to be the person who's here because. She's. A great spiritual, teacher. I can. See a hand in the middle about, four rows back from the front. Thank. You. Very. Stimulating. I wanted, to throw. Into this that we don't have to go to Africa. To. Me Africans. There. Are a lot of Africans, in London. There's. One particular family that I know very well that are great friends, of mine I love. Them dearly and they love me too but, the. Relationship is, threaded, through all, the, time by, the fact that I'm wealthier. Than them and so. At times not often but they do ask me for money, for things and that. I just I don't know how. To handle, it better. So. I just. Thought is very very close to home to me and. I, just wondered if you had any any, comments. That might be helpful. Regarding. That you don't have to go to Africa one of the the many many, many things that I cut out of this talk I mean. I've been asked to talk about my whole life you know you. Had to cut out a lot. It was the observation, that no, of course you don't have to go to Africa. We. Are where we are this, is what we know experimentally, the. Thing, on Sunday, the. The privileged, toolkit. We. Can we. Are all living here in this world now we are all part of these global dispensations. And we, can work on this right here right, now even, without knowing any, African people although, I would hope that we, live in a in a you know but we live in Britain and we know how I. Mean. We know what Britain's like so. Regarding. Being asked for money. You. Know I. Have. A house and I have food and. And. I find it impossible to, say no and, people. Say to me you know we must learn to say no and I think, why. How. Dare we we, are so rich. We. Don't know, how, rich we are. As. A result I'm always getting to trouble cuz I always give all my money away. And. But. But. There's. A young woman that. We. Are beginning to. Learn. To trust each other, so. That when. She asks me for money I trust, her. She. Will tell me if she wants it for something frivolous and why the house re why, on earth shouldn't, it be for, something frivolous I. Have. Money to spend on trivial, things I was. Lucky I was born into a middle-class family in, one of the richest countries in the world. She. Wasn't lucky, like that. But. She is also beginning, to trust me so when I say you. Know what I actually can't, spare it right now. She. Accepts, that and she she it's, not an easy relationship. But. It's a relationship that's growing in love as we learn to trust one another. And. I suppose this is this is my point until. We. Accept. The. Power that we have and. Begin. To. Ask how. Can we disempower. Ourselves. Not how can we empower, others. How. Can we disempower. Ourselves. Because. It's not up to Africans. To do that work it's. Up to us to. Do that work. We. Have to do this work on ourselves and we are, only just beginning and we there's, so much we can't see that's why this this there's a race and privileged toolkit is going to be so valuable we. Don't know what, an equal world looks like we. Really don't, because. We haven't yet really, begun, the, conversation, I. Think. We have time for one more question, sorry I'm renting I know. I'd. Like to take it from my friend on the first row at the back on the, ground floor so to speak. Thank. You my. Name is Yvonne Stuart Williams and I'm from Brixton instructing, you at meeting. Thank. You for you talk. I've listened, carefully I. Think. From. My perspective. The. Relationship. Is, reciprocal. And. Stuff there's things that can be taught and it's like a cell, wall and it's. Porous. You. Know it, transcends. Both sides there. Are things that both. Parties, all, of us can bring to each other. But. That's, in general I'm talking about in particular, I'm, talking, about the. Way in which we. On. This, side have. Sort of flying worked, out, the. Sexuality. Theme, and sort. Of flying worked with that issue, and. That is something I, know from, many African. LGBTQ. People who. Struggle, in there especially, in their faith group and when, they do have, relationships, they, have this internalized. Homophobia transphobia. Biphobia. Myself. And that is something that we are in, a, position, to. Sort of like give guidance on and.
Support. In. And. As, it, said in other areas. Exchange. Is no robbery. Myself, it's two-way, it. Can't be a handout, it must be a hand up. Thank. You, I. Think. What, I've experienced. Is. That. Everybody. Says it's an exchange and. That. There's. No. There's. That well there are power relations on. Both sides but. There's. A willingness to take. What. Is being offered. By. People, that I've worked with in Africa, a. Joy. In it and. There's. A joy in the giving and. There. Is a learning, that goes the other way. But. It's often less, recognised, and I think that's the point I'm trying to make is, that. I. Think. Very often. We. Don't see, how much we're not seeing. So. Fair. Exchange is, no robbery but. I don't think we've got fair exchange and, I. Don't think we even yet, really. Know what fair exchange will look like. And. And. It's, a journey, we're. Just we're. We're. Until. We say, what. Are we not seeing we're. Not even going to begin to start looking at what we don't see. So. I. I. Think. That because. Of where they're positioned in that power relationship. My, friends in Africa have got a much clearer, sense of the, nature of that exchange and I'm. Beginning, to learn from them, of. Course it's an exchange but I don't. Think, it's yet an equal exchange and. With. The the the, the, issue of sexuality, which as I say was actually where my mind you know must my, doctorate, went in that direction. Of. Course. We. As Quakers, in Britain have have. Been magnificent. In the way that we have. Struggled. Together to, resolve our feelings, conflicted. Feelings and, I think no longer conflicted, feelings we, were we. We. Were ahead of where British culture has got to but I think British, culture has changed a lot in. African. Culture. Sexuality. Works in different ways and I think actually, one of the problems, is that. European. Ideas of sexuality, have been imposed in different contexts. And have created I mean, I can get all Foucault Dean about this but. That. That. I think there are African approaches. To sexuality that are much less homophobic. That. When, when Africans, say, as they often do it was the missionaries, who brought homosexuality, I. Think. What. Came, in with. Michigan, Christianity. Was, a discourse. Of homosexuality, that, said this is sinful, I think. There. There, was I. Think. Same-sex, sex. Of. Course same-sex sex was always happening but it wasn't spoken about in the same way and. One. Of the things that I try to do is not to say you shouldn't discriminate against, same-sex, you, know that's naughty that's bad you know we've, got the idea about what human rights are and we've got it right and you've got it wrong, but. To try to work with historians. To. Uncover, deeper, histories, of African sexualities. To. Find another story which isn't the West saying, we, know the right ways to do Human Rights and you don't but. To say there. Are deeper histories, here that, African. Historians, can reclaim for themselves. Where. We think about sexuality, differently. And we. Don't need the West to tell us. Thank. You everybody and thank you. Diana. For bringing, your whole self to. This lecture. I'm. Now going to hand back to the clock for, some notices. It. All feels what other hummed it all feels rather humdrum in the light of the lecture. We've had. But. Just to let you. Know that, qss. Will have a stall at the group. Fair on Sunday evening so if you have any questions, for us or you would like, to join qss. We, will have our we. Will be there to respond. To your questions. And thoughts. The. Definitive. Biography. Of. ADA, salta, ADA, salsa, is by. Our friend, Graham. Taylor who is with us today and. Here, is the book and. I. Believe, Graham is willing to sign copies of the book and it will be available after. After. This, event. And and and on the store and they'll. Be copies in the bookshop. So. It. Is the most wonderful read. Inspiring. It in its own way. Just. To, say that we have been doing a bit of an audit, of. Our. Contact. List and our. Paid up membership, have. We found a bit, of a discrepancy.
So, If. Friends, you have been receiving things from qss. Perhaps. You just like, to give a thought as to whether you've been out a contribute. Your. Subscriptions. Over the last, year. Or two and an allison, who is here, also the, both. Membership, secretary, and treasurer will, be glad to receive any contributions. That you're able to make, our. AGM. Our, qss AGM, will, take place on the. 9th of june ninth of the next month. Two, o'clock at, the Westminster. Meeting. House. As. Well as our routine, matters. I'm. Hoping, that we will begin. A discussion. About. Qss. Structures. Particularly. On this for, us a rather vexed question, about. How we take. Qss. Across. The country, and all. Qss. Members and friends can, feel part of of, of, the organization. So, I'm, hoping, as Clark that, we, will start that debate. Then. But. After the. AGM. We, are going to have a planning, meeting. Hopefully. An. Event, is taking place in July. Our. Nation, is receiving, a visit from, the President of the United States as, you may have noticed on, the thing he arrives on the 13th, of July and, on, the 14th, of July there, is to be a, mass. Gathering after we caught a demonstration, I don't know in. In London to. Convey. Hopefully. Convey, the strong message, that what, the, current president, of the United States represents. His, values, are not. The same as, our values, committed. As we are. To. Peace and equality and the, issues that we know. So well we, are very keen to have, a, qss. Presence, there and no doubt there will be other. Quakers, independently. Or as part of other. Sections, of the Quaker community to, be there it. Is so, important. That as, many people. Attend. This, event in, London on the 14th, of July. I've. Been introduced to the phrase non, violent photobombing. I'm not sure whether that's a Quaker phrase or not, but. What, I think it means and, Tim will correct me right what I think it means is that we. Need a huge. Turnout, just. To make clear. Hopefully. The views. Well certainly our viewers of Quakers but of our country, as a whole about. The. Sort of things that seem to be represented. And symbolized. By the current, President. Of the United States and if, pictures, of that these aerial. Photographs, can be beamed. Back to, America. And Americans, can see that actually. These. Values, are not shared, across the globe and. Perhaps. As a reinforcement, to those who feel hurt, in. America, in the United States hurt by. The actions, of the present president. Then. It. Will have been a worthwhile event but that can only happen if. If. People go to it and, perhaps. Somewhere. In Cleveland. Ohio they, will see the, Quaker Socialist, banner there, amongst the crowd so I, hope. That as many people as possible will get to go there, on. The, on. The 14th of July so what we will be doing, hopefully. The, following our AGM is. To examining, further how we can, make our only irate own arrangements, for the day so. Their AGM is on the, 8th. 9th, of June, from. Tip from 2:00 till, 4:30. And, you're, welcome to join us there at the Westminster Meeting, House thank, you so, we just have a little silence. Now.