On July 14, 2019, Yussif Larry Aminu, Fatimatu Mutari, and Mustapha Adamu of Spread-Out Initiative NGO and I presented our collaborative research at the Ghana Studies Association Conference at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Our presentation was part of the panel “Re-thinking African Urban Studies” and organized by Prof. Ato Quayson at Stanford University.
Our process: We worked together to develop our PowerPoint presentation, guided by questions of how we would like to frame the Nima neighborhood, and using the opportunity to emphasize the importance of collaborative research, and then sharing our methodological process, examples of the information produced by SOI students, as well as our initial insights. Larry, Fati, and Mustapha did not want to present, so we agreed that I would present our 15-minute presentation, and we practiced it together several times, editing and making adjustments as we went along. We also drew on our conversation discussing initial insights and incorporated each of their contributions – as cited quotes – to also include their voices in the presentation, even though they were not directly presenting in our work.
On the day, the four of us came to the panel; I was at the front for the presentations, and then Larry, Mustapha, and Fati joined on stage for the Q&A session. We were able to share the fielding of questions during the Q&A – on how we selected the public spaces and on marginalization in Nima.
The experience emphasized for us the importance of collaboration at multiple stages of the research process, as well as in our representation and in the presentation of our research. For us, it became important to represent each of their work and contributions (through our physical presence on the day, through acknowledgements and naming in the presentation). It was also important the each of us contributed and helped shape the research presentation. Preparing this presentation triggered a lot of important questions for us that we will continue to think about.