Knowledge Production in the Global South: launching the (Silent) Voices: Bukavu Expo

This event explores North-South research collaborations, discussing how to overcome the erasure of local voices in the production of knowledge across academia. The event will also launch the (Silent) Voices: Bukavu Expo, an online exhibition illustrating the difficulties faced by Congolese researchers when conducting fieldwork in conflict settings.


Listen (coming soon)

This event was recorded on Thursday 21 January 2021.

Bukavu Expo

Undergoing research in conflict-affected sites is a hard task to endure, especially as a local researcher in the field. From experiences told through blog articles by researchers in Bukavu, eastern DRC the (Silent) Voices: Bukavu Expo highlights the difficulties of navigating a conflict landscape. As a researcher you are treated as a mere data collector, accused of espionage, of being a sell-out to your local community or - particularly for women - as a sex worker. What provisions are in place if you get attacked or kidnapped – who will pay your ransom? These are but some of the issues presented in the Bukavu Expo. 

Through the medium of cartoons drawn by Congolese artist Tembo Kash, the exhibition illustrates these ethical issues, highlighting the all too banal 'silencing' of Global South researchers in the research design, duty of care and the publication process; issues often overlooked by their Global North counterparts. 

Start the tour.


Dr Emery Mudinga (@EmeryMudinga) is the Director of Angaza Institute and Associate Professor at Institut Supérieur de Développement Rural, Bukavu (ISDR-Bukavu). Emery is one of the contributing researchers to the Bukavu Series writing the blog 'We Barely Know These Researchers from the South! Reflections on Problematic Assumptions about Local Research Collaborators'.

Irène Bahati (@IreneBahati8) is a Congolese researcher at the Study Group on Conflict and Human Security and Teacher at the Higher Pedagogical Institute of Bukavu. Her research focuses on human security for women and children, taxation and the informal economy in cross-border trade, and the socio-economic study of human movements in the Great Lakes Region. Irène is one of the contributing authors to the Bukavu Series, writing the blog 'The challenges facing female researchers in conflict settings' and co-authoring 'When the room is laughing: from female researcher to researcher-prostitute'.

Devon E. A. Curtis is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Emmanuel College. Her main publications focus on international peacebuilding and state-building in Africa, power-sharing and governance arrangements following conflict, and non-state armed movements in Africa. Her field research concentrates on the Great Lakes region of Africa, especially Burundi. Previously, Devon worked for the Canadian government and the United Nations Staff College. 

Dr Nimesh Dhungana (@NimeshDhungana) is an LSE Fellow in the Departments of Methodology and International Development at LSE, where he teaches a course on Fundamentals of Research Design for International Development students. His research examines politics of disasters and development, with a focus on participatory and accountable governance of disasters. He is also interested in epistemological and ethical dimensions of, and power dynamics in doing research in post-disaster and disadvantaged settings.

Twitter hashtag: #BukavuSeries