In Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care, Karen Laura Thornber analyzes how narratives from diverse communities globally engage with a broad variety of diseases and other serious health conditions and advocate for empathic, compassionate, and respectful care that facilitates healing and enables wellbeing.

The three parts of this book discuss writings from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania that implore societies to shatter the devastating social stigmas which prevent billions from accessing effective care; to increase the availability of quality person-focused healthcare; and to prioritize partnerships that facilitate healing and enable wellbeing for both patients and loved ones.

Thornber’s Global Healing remaps the contours of comparative literature, world literature, the medical humanities, and the health humanities.

Watch a video interview with Thornber by the Mahindra Humanities Center, part of their conversations on Covid-19.

Read an interview with Thornber on Brill's Humanities Matter blog.
In: Journal of Global Slavery

Abstract

Before the exponential diffusion of modern video broadcasting media, the history of forced migrations within Africa was mainly transmitted through the spread of individual and collective memories. Filming, instead, agglomerates memories and images by producing new overarching and often convincing interpretations of the past. This article describes how and why a documentary video on slavery in the Indian Ocean was produced and the reasons behind its narrative form. Stemming from the urge of people regarded as descendants of slaves to have their ancestral dances documented as proof of their origins, this documentary is the result of a long-range ethnographic encounter spanning time and space from the Juba River in Somalia to Malawi and the Niasa region of Mozambique. It was only audiovisual equipment like video cameras and computers that made such an amazing encounter possible.

In: Journal of Global Slavery
Author: Marie Rodet

Abstract

In 2010 I filmed descendants of formerly enslaved populations in Kayes narrating the history of their ancestors and the realities of internal slavery in West Africa. The result was a 23-minute documentary film entitled “The Diambourou: Slavery and Emancipation in Kayes—Mali,” which was released in 2014. The film was as much responding to specific historiographical questions in the field as a tool of research action to raise awareness among younger generations and to fight legacies of social discrimination today. With the exactions perpetuated against descendants of formerly enslaved populations in the Kayes region since 2018, the film, via its access-free online version, has experienced a second life as an anti-slavery activist medium, helping to bridge the gap between endogenous historical fighting against slavery and contemporary anti-slavery activism in the Soninke diaspora.

In: Journal of Global Slavery

Abstract

This article examines the experience of making a set of four research films that collectively comprise the “Present Past” collection (http://www.labhoi.uff.br/passadospresentes/en/filmes_passados.php). The films were developed based on the oral history project “Memories of Slavery” (1995–2005) and the subsequent visual oral history project “Present Pasts” from 2005 to 2012, conducted at the Laboratory of Oral History and Image of Federal Fluminense University in Brazil (LABHOI/UFF). The article analyzes the process of creating each film, discussing the relationships between history, memory, and politics, and considering the contributions that film as a medium brings to historical research.

In: Journal of Global Slavery
Author: Beheroze Shroff

Abstract

The Sidis are Indians of African descent. Sidi communities reside in different regions of India, mostly in Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Maharashtra. My films and research focus on the Sidi community of Gujarat. The Sidi oral history community delineates its genealogy to the Abyssinian Sufi saint Bava Gor, whose shrine is in Gujarat. My family and I were deeply connected with the healing spiritual legacy of Sidi saint Bava Gor from the 1950s; however, my filmic journey to Sidis began in 1990s. In this article, I examine the social and economic concerns of the Sidi community, as well as some of the issues confronting me as a film maker as I attempted to represent Sidis on film.

In: Journal of Global Slavery

Abstract

Due to assimilation, the diversity of the region, and the problems of identification, the presence of Asians with African ancestry in some parts of the Indian Ocean goes largely unnoticed. Whilst Ethiopians came to Sri Lanka voluntarily during the sixth century, the largest known Afro-Sri Lankan community’s history dates back to the island’s colonial era, which began in the sixteenth century. Oral traditions and archival records demonstrate that the Indian Ocean slave trade carried on even after abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Although their numbers have dwindled due to out-marriage and assimilation, this community’s presence is marked out through its strong cultural memories. This article highlights the significance of film as a medium for making Sri Lankans of African ancestry visible and giving them a space to reflect about their ancestors, cultural traditions and sociolinguistic transformations.

In: Journal of Global Slavery