Who were we before they told us who to be? Language as cultural production subtext in Lesotho

This talk will focus on the Literary infrastructure in Lesotho and its ties to creative cultural production among youth.

Speaker: Lineo Segoete (she/her) Chair: Benedetta d’Ettorre (she/her)

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Lineo Segoete’s research and practice has focused on identifying and analysing the remnants of coloniality which still exist in the way artistic practice is produced and documented in the country. It specifically narrows in on the work of Eduoard Jacottet and other French-Swiss missionaries who pioneered the process of documenting Sesotho in written form.

As a result, the language is still marred by inconsistencies which spread across other disciplines of cultural production. The impact, however subtle, does have a bearing in how certain narratives have endured over time and the subliminal effect they have on how Basotho cultural producers identify themselves.

Lineo Segoete is a storyteller, creative writer, researcher, photographer and archivist. For many years she co-directed ‘Ba re e ne re Literary Arts’ and has since moved on to become a Cultural consultant and Co-convenor for the Africa Cluster in the global research collective known as ‘Another Roadmap School’.

Segoete’s interest in literacy expanded further into the realm of curriculum and pedagogical practice within and around arts education in Lesotho. Segoete thus became a 2016–2017 Hubert Humphrey Fellow at Vanderbilt University where she studied education policy, planning and administration.

Though she now works as a Content Manager at Selemela Learning Network, her independent practice still focuses on promoting criticality and the professionalisation of cultural production through collaborative endeavours with peers in Lesotho and across Africa.

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