Dr Marlon Swai is a Hip Hop artist from Cape Town with a background in spoken word and graphic design. He completed his PhD in the department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University (NYU). His research and dissertation evaluates how the youth movement forms the backbone of Hip Hop in South Africa, and how it simultaneously supplements and critiques formal education by promoting the kind of politicization and awareness-raising that is indispensable to various kinds of social justice work. In addition to researching the pedagogical approaches within resistive art, Marlon’s academic interests expand to Hip Hop's potential for galvanizing Pan-African collaboration toward social justice, specifically with regards to issues around gender discrimination in relation to masculinity, internalized oppression and the politics of representation. His curiosity for the workings of cross-cultural imagination and communication was fed by his experience of spending eight years in Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx where he supported immigrant and refugee youth in their acquisition of English language and literacy, as well as their socio-emotional adjustment to life in the United States.
Marlon’s future interests include the flipped classroom in the African context, youth activist contributions to critical literacies, the political economy of small-scale environmental sustainability work; and a continued exploration in developing pedagogy for healthy masculinities.