By Francis Nyamnjoh*
Covid-19 offers much food for thought to critically review prevalent and conventional teleological modernist neoliberal assumptions about and usages of the notion of resilience. Such assumptions seem to take attention away from the power of resilient inequalities and injustices while deceptively encouraging the overdramatization of the delusory power of ordinary folks to transform and transcend their circumstances with the benevolence and active assistance, supposedly, of the very same oppressive, repressive and suppressive elite, who, though not being a monolith, have structural power and privilege in common.
The paper argues that resilience as an empowerment or recognition of human agency for the overwhelming majority of ordinary folks the world over, is possible not through mimicry, elite outsourcing of blame, prescriptiveness and trickledown munificence, but only to the extent that deeply embedded systemic – covert, tacit and everyday – inequalities are comprehensively and systematically excavated, deactivated and reconfigured in accordance with the logic and humility of incompleteness and conviviality.
To transcend perennial elite domination that has effectively neutralised productive contestation by ordinary folks, the paper calls for carefully negotiated and inclusive action, creativity, innovative and convivial modes of solidarity beyond the irrational ecstasy of ephemeral euphoria and exuberance.