Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and
The 6th International Conference on Community Psychology (ICCP2016) was held at the Durban International Convention Centre, South Africa on 27-30 May. This is the first time this conference has been held on the African continent. The conference theme, Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community, encouraged a safe space to critique the assumptions and far-reaching influences underlying the dominant knowledge economy in community psychology, considered to be largely shaped by imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, globalisation, ethnocentricism and racism. This theme called for the conscious decolonisation of knowledge creation, methodologies and processes that are largely fixed in colonial discourses, and the recognition of the plurality of people’s experiences and the many geographical, psychological and sociological locations that they occupy.
The conference attracted 463 delegates from 46 countries. The scientific programme included keynote addresses by Professor Nelson Maldonado-Torres from Rutgers University in the USA. Dr Shose Kessi from the University of Cape Town, and Professor Ibrahim Makkawi from Birzeit University in Palestine; an invited symposium on African psychologies, convened by Professor Kopano Ratele from the University of South Africa; oral, poster and innovative presentations; symposia; roundtable discussions; and documentary screenings.
In the Opening Ceremony, the ICCP chair, Professor Mohamed Seedat, and co-chair, Dr Shahnaaz Suffla, reflected on the overall conference theme, and the key conversations that the theme was intended to stimulate during the conference proceedings. The conference was formally opened by Dr Sibongiseni Maxwell Dhlomo, Member of the Executive Council for Health, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government. Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice Principal of Research and Innovation at the University of South Africa, delivered the opening address, which spoke to issues of decolonisation. During the ceremony, Professor Sandy Lazarus from South Africa and Professor Maritza Montero from Venezuela were both presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Ursula Lau from South Africa was the recipient of the Engaged Student Award. At a lecture associated with the ICCP, President of the South African Medical Research Council, Professor Glenda Gray, delivered a speech in which spoke about the sociopolitical relevance of community psychology and decolonising dialogues within South Africa and the Global South today.