My name is Ailis and I’m a student in African Studies (MA) at Leiden University. With roots in Angola, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Scotland, I represent both the oppressor (coloniser) and oppressed (colonised), which is an intersection that is as much interesting as it is complex. Please join me on my journey to figure out my own position while becoming a well-rounded researcher!
At Amsterdam University College (BA), I majored in social sciences (mainly anthropology and sociology) and did a minor in communication/journalism. Because the curriculum was quite western oriented, I decided to take the opportunity to study abroad in Cape Town for a semester to get a better representation of Black history, literature, and knowledge. All of this came together in my bachelor thesis, which was on the 2015 student protests in South Africa. For this qualitative research, I interviewed students and activists and linked their stories to Fanon’s decolonisation and Biko’s Black Consciousness.
In my portfolio, you will find that my interests include unequal power relations (and the intersections thereof), ‘race’ and gender issues, migration, cultural identity, the empowerment of marginalised groups, (neo)colonialism, and (you guessed it) decolonisation. The latter hopefully manifests in the form of a lens through which the other themes are studied. Enjoy!