The AIR Interview: Dr. Taiwo Afuape

In the AIR Interview we speak with African practitioners that are breaking ground and offering fresh insights and perspectives on violence against women and girls, HIV/AIDS and emotional well-being/mental health. In our first edition we sat down with Dr. Taiwo Afuape is a Nigerian British-born clinical psychologist and systemic therapist currently based in London, United Kingdom to discuss her training, politics and approach to psychology and clinical practice.  AIR: What compelled you Read more [...]

Introducing AIR: A new film

In our new film Introducing AIR: The African Institute for Integrated Responses to VAWG and HIV/AIDS, practitioners involved in AIR explain its history, vision and the choice to focus on transformative feminist approaches. I think that what is so compelling about AIR is the fact that for so long responses to violence against women on the continent have tended to rely on external ideas – ideas that have come from outside of the continent, ideas that have not taken account or grown out of some Read more [...]

Building Organisations with Souls: A new guide

Today across the world, many activists are asking: ‘How can we create organisations with souls, where impassioned people go to work every day, inspired by working in an environment that increases both their well-being and productivity?’ Clearly activists are still hungry for knowledge and interested in learning from unconventional methods and organisational cultures that forge working in soulful organisations. If you are one of these people, we think you will love this guide. - Hope Read more [...]

Visualising care: The Hope Factory

At AIR we value the cross-pollination of African ideas and technical brilliance! In a conversation, clinical psychologist and AIR Steering Commitee member Johanna Kistner described the work of providing transformative care as being like a 'hope factory'- generating will to carry on living in the midst of landscapes of suffering and distress. The image was a compelling one, and AIR commissioned South African graphic designer/illustrator Thandiwe Tshabalala to translate the idea into a visual. Read more [...]

Politicizing self-care: Jessica Horn on AWID’s Friday File

Senior Advisor to AIR, Jessica Horn, was interviewed for the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)'s Friday File where she speaks about AIR's work on (re)conceptualizing trauma, the need to defend defenders, and the value of integrated approaches. In women’s rights organizations and movements we’re not acknowledging fully that our work involves constantly bearing witness to violations and violence, and that often the violence is close to us – it is being inflicted either on Read more [...]

AIR Thoughts Issue 2: Johanna Kistner raises critical questions about ‘trauma’ in clinical psychology

“This article is not aimed at defining trauma, but rather at generating further questioning, in the interest of deepening our thinking and feeling as front-line carers and activists” writes psychologist Johanna Kistner in the second issue of AIR Thoughts. Drawing on decades of experience in providing and designing mental health services in marginalized communities in South Africa, Johanna calls into question the heavily individualized and de-politiczed models and language that are used to deal Read more [...]

AIR film series on (re)conceptualizing trauma

"We were taught when we were trained that trauma is a sudden, unexpected event that has got the ability to horrify the person and the person feels a danger and you work with it one, two, three, you’re done. We have been able to be able to be creative and say we need to walk with people through the different levels of trauma and through the different traumas that they face. Sometimes it’s just one thing after another, which is traumatic." - Mpumi Zondi, Clinical Director, Sophiatown Community Read more [...]

(Re)conceptualizing Trauma convening report is out!

The report from AIR's first convening on (Re)conceptualizing Trauma is now available! It offers an insight into the deep questions and creative ideas emerging from African practitioners working to confront the emotional distress caused by violation, marginalisation, conflict and ill-health - and to build feminist approaches. Download the report from the AIR Resource Library by clicking here. Read more [...]

Dr. Mukwege of Panzi Hospital wins the Sakharov Prize: AIR celebrates

The European Parliament has just announced that Dr. Denis Mukwege, Founder and Medical Director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo is the winner of this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. In his statement in response to his selection for the prize, Dr. Muwkege highlighted the courage of survivors themselves: Our thoughts go to the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world, especially those of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Those women Read more [...]

(Re)conceptualizing Trauma :: A quietly historic gathering in Kigali

In our work on HIV/AIDS, on violence and violation, legal justice and physical and mental health, the ‘doing’ takes precedence- be it in the form of life saving services, advocacy to challenge and change society, or training to build new skills and organisations. However all action is guided by concepts- theories of change, principles that frame our choices, and critiques that inspire new practice. Allowing space and time to engage the thinking behind our work as practitioner-activists is therefore Read more [...]