‘Doing and knowing’ IEL through the lens of Caribbean Rastafari philosophy (IEL Collective Symposium II)

By Yentyl Williams, PhD Candidate (Bristol University Law School)

Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) scholarship over the past 21 years has innovated how we know and do international law. Yet, I argue that TWAIL scholarship can better connect to the Caribbean in general, and the Rastafari, maroon and indigenous knowledges/epistemologies and being/ontologies. Indeed, despite the growth in TWAIL scholarship, neither Westlaw nor HeinOnline contain any entries that refer to Rastafari philosophy. This, I argue, is a missed opportunity or a shortcoming, given the intellectual convergences of TWAIL and Rastafari philosophy. There are epistemological and ontological convergences of TWAIL and Rastafari scholars and activists across, at least, six concepts of Rastafari philosophy: Babylon, ‘poly-tricks’, ‘fire’, ‘livity’, ‘know thyself’ and ‘I-an-I’. (more…)