Colonialism & Collective Trauma – Europe & Africa

Colonialism & Collective Trauma – Europe & Africa

Facilitators: Visolela Rosa Namises, Mugove Nyika, Robin Alfred, Kosha Joubert; trainees: Judy Malan, Rasada Goldblatt, Roma Long
Language: English


In this Lab we will be researching the collective trauma that is present in Africa and in Europe due to both historical and ongoing injustices. Facilitators and participants will together explore the traumas and some of the many ways that they manifest. We will also be seeking to feel and ‘presence’ our experience of these traumas. The exploration will be guided by some broad initiating questions and we will deepen the search with more specific questions that emerge. Europe and Africa are large continents, comprising many and varied countries, so we will explore these questions through the specific perspectives and experiences that participants bring.

We will be exploring

  • What constitutes the historical background to European colonialism in Africa?
  • What constitutes the historical background to the enslavement of African people by European colonial powers?
  • How does the trauma of European colonialism in Africa influence the construction of identity and the process of ‘othering’ e.g. between Africans, Europeans, people of African descent living in Europe, people of European descent living in Africa?
  • How does the trauma of European colonialism in Africa influence the development of worldviews and cultural architecture governing the current relationships between and within African and European countries e.g. development agendas & aid, trade agreements, educational systems, migration patterns?
  • How does our use of language reflect and reinforce the consequences of this trauma?
  • How does this trauma show itself in times of crisis (e.g. Covid-19, climate emergencies)?
    Can we collectively create a coherent we-space and a process of witnessing that leads to an integration and eventual healing of this trauma?

Participants are asked to commit to

  • Be present for the duration of the cycle of the Lab (please see the dates below)
  • Be present for introductory calls to basic competencies (or to watch the recordings), especially should you be new to this field of work
  • Show up with mindfulness and authenticity and explore questions like:
    • How do I participate in the integration of this trauma and how do I perpetuate it?
    • How do I participate in othering?
  • Ensure to be free from the influence of drugs.
  • Assume confidentiality – all personal sharing within this Lab will be kept confidential and names of other participants will not be shared, nor will they be described.
  • Assume self-responsibility for your health – this Lab does not provide therapy or treatment.

Max. group size: 36 (aiming for 50/50 black bodies & white bodies) , plus 4 facilitators.
We might have affinity groups for certain calls and then come back together. We might invite representatives from the Black Lives Matter movement for certain calls (e.g. Angel Acosta).

Time: Thursdays 3 pm Central African Time (CAT) (Please check here to find the time in your location)

Dates: Nov 19, Dec 10, Jan 7, Jan 28, Feb 18, March 11, April 1, April 22, May 13, June 3, June 24 2021

Lab Team

Visolela Rosa Namises
Advisory Board member of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and former member of the Namibian Parliament from 1999-2005 and again from 2010-12, lives in Windhoek. Visolela spent time in solitary confinement under Apartheid and spoke up against the torture of South West African People Organisation (SWAPO) members in exile through founding ‘Breaking the Wall of Silence’ (BWS), an organisation for former SWAPO detainees. She is known as a social, gender equality and human rights activist. Visolela also founded ‘Women’s Solidarity Namibia’ in 1989 and is its current director. Visolela is a wisdom keeper of the traditional and herbal medicine of her Damara Culture. She is a graduate of the 2017-18 Pocket Project Training.

Walter Mugove Nyika
is a community development facilitator focused on building resilience and food sovereignty in African communities. His mission is to use life skills, land use design skills and passion for the environment to listen, encourage and share with everyone, especially children to be empowered to look after themselves and the environment for the common good. Over the last twenty years he has played a central role in developing the integrated land-use design (ILUD) process as a tool for green school design and the establishment of school food forests. He is an Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) facilitator and member of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) Africa Advisory Council. The focus of his work is based on valuing the young people as the custodians of the future and helping them to participate in building resilient communities.

Robin Alfred
is an organisational consultant, facilitator, trainer and executive coach – and a Senior Programme Director for Olivier Mythodrama. Robin worked in criminal justice in London, before moving to the Findhorn ecovillage in Scotland in 1995 where he founded Open Circle Consultancy. He has extensive experience of leading and developing groups and individuals across all sectors – corporate, public, and third sector. His facilitation work is designed to cultivate the self-organizing principle in groups and individuals and to support the emergence of transformational fields. Robin is a registered facilitator for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Robin has been studying with Thomas Hübl for the past 12 years. He has served as a host and mentor for almost all of Thomas Hübl’s online courses, co-moderated two of the Celebrate Life Festivals and was a co-host of the 2019 and 2020 Online Summit on Collective Trauma.

Kosha Anja Joubert
serves as CEO of the Pocket Project. She holds an MSc in Organisational Development, is an international facilitator, author, coach and consultant, and has worked extensively in the fields of sustainable development, curriculum development and intercultural collaboration. Kosha grew up in South Africa under Apartheid and has been dedicated to the healing of divides and collective trauma ever since. She has been learning with Thomas Hübl for 15 years. She has served as a host and mentor for almost all of Thomas Hübl’s online courses, co-moderated two of the Celebrate Life Festivals and was a co-host of the 2019 and 2020 Online Summit on Collective Trauma.

Apply for this lab now!

Applications for this lab are now closed due to high interest.