Trickster at play: an inquiry into transgression in a colonised world

Ralapanawe, Mahinda Vidhura Bandara (2019) Trickster at play: an inquiry into transgression in a colonised world. DProf thesis, Middlesex University / Ashridge Business School. [Thesis]

[img] PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Restricted to Repository staff and depositor only until 13 June 2024.

Download (4MB)


This is an inquiry about transgression of colonial discourse.

My intimate encounter with the ongoing ecological destruction of the world fills me with grief and shapes my perspective. This grief is made invisible in our lives and business through hegemonic discourses that marginalises ecological integrity and sustainability. As a sustainability practitioner of an apparel manufacturing company, I occupy a discursively constructed margin. How do I bring about meaningful change that preserves the key life sustaining processes that honour earth as a living system within such a context? I claim resistance and transgression, play critical and strategic roles in the praxis of those who occupy such colonised spaces and attempting to transform the same.

I explore transgression as a mode of practice that opens windows of opportunity to broaden the discursive boundaries to enable new modes of action and relationships. I explore how transgression becomes performative; and in my praxis exists in a wider spectrum of activities including collaboration, coalition building, advocacy and expertise, that gives it a unique sense of power and agency. I explore trickster as an embodied and performative form of transgression, and locate it within the larger body of practices and explore her influence in shifting discourse.

I describe a complex practice that employs these methods and others to challenge the normalizing effects of power and attempt to build a more sustainable world through action and shifting of discourse. It is also a risky and unsafe territory where self-care has little meaning. I look beyond traditional and sanitised accounts of change, to narrate a deeply conflicted,
contradictory, political and complex account of a change agent, as an offer for resonance.

I explore historical, cultural and colonial constructs that sit at the foundation of the research process, specifically action research. Moving beyond deconstruction of method, I offer a different way to approach method in action research, that would support radical activism based out of a performative mode. I also explore what it is to be writing from outside to an academy with its Eurocentric structures.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Ashridge Business School
Item ID: 26798
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2019 09:16
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:06

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.