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Should EWB Exist? (Part II): A System of Abuse

CW: abuse, institutional violence


As the philosopher Sara Ahmed notes, “The experience of identifying and challenging abuses of power teaches us about power.”

Aakhil Lakhani and Chelsey Rhodes continue their conversation with a discussion of how a culture and system of abuse can emerge in an organization, fostered by self-absorbed leadership, lack of accountability mechanisms, and then enabled and re-inscribed by passive participants and followers (who become complicit in the abuse).

In this conversation they begin to map out the shape of institutional violence at Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB), from persistent interpersonal harm and widespread silencing tactics, to issues around over-identification with an institution to the point of developing cult-like dynamics and becoming impervious to important critiques.

Together they begin to point to harassment, discrimination, and bullying as symptoms of deeper structural and ideological failures.

At 20:11 Aakhil hints at this, saying “the theology has been bad from the beginning.”

Guest: Aakhil Lakhani

Hosted by: Chelsey Rhodes

Musical theme: by Buda Bap Beats https://www.instagram.com/budabapbeats/