Editorial from Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, Vol 1, No 1 (2012)
By Aman Sium, Chandni Desai, & Eric Ritskes
On the occasion of the inaugural issue of Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, we examine the many contradictions, contestations and possible pathways to decolonization. In working to explore the many themes that the articles in this issue bring forth, we recognize that, despite our certainty that decolonization centers Indigenous methods, peoples, and lands, the future is a ‘tangible unknown’, a constant (re)negotiating of power, place, identity and sovereignty. In these contestations, decolonization and Indigeneity are not merely reactionary nor in a binary relationship with colonial power. Decolonization is indeed oppositional to colonial ways of thinking and acting but demands an Indigenous starting point and an articulation of what decolonization means for Indigenous peoples around the globe. This editorial works towards the possibility of a global Indigenous movement that strengthens and supports local moments for decolonization, and does so by exploring some of the many layers and questions that this necessarily entails.
Full Text: PDF
From Sketchy Thoughts:
There was an “anti-colonial Victoria Day” book launch in Montreal on May 21, where Maia Ramnath presented her new book Decolonizing Anarchism, published by AK Press and the Institute for Anarchist Studies (and available from leftwingbooks.net). What made this launch special, and different from most such events, was that the Ramnath spoke on a panel with Ponni, a radical activist from India, who used her intervention to level a detailed and outstanding critique of the book, from an anti-authoritarian and anticolonial perspective.
Given the strength of this critique, i asked Ponni if i could upload the transcript here to my blog. She graciously agreed, though wanted me to make it clear to readers that this is not a “review”, it is a talk given at an event, and so is not structured or intended as a written piece would be. Here it is:
I am an activist with the queer movement, feminist movement and labour struggles and a student of history. I also work on conflict related issues in Sri Lanka primarily in the north and east of Sri Lanka. I have studied modern Indian history – which means 1757 to 1947. But later I have come to be involved in a range of different research projects on social movements in post-independence India including archiving the women’s movement in some parts of India in the 70s. I am also part of an informal network of queer feminists across the South Asian region.
This introduction is important not to establish my authenticity; in fact I am mildly annoyed by the authenticity that is read on to me in the global west even by the closest of comrades. It is to explain the background from which the following comments are coming. In many ways the book is too close to home, to say the least.
What I enjoyed in the book are the snippets of information about related social movements in the ‘diaspora’, if I can read that modern category on to another period and the limited channels of solidarity that exist today among activists in South Asia and groups based in the global west.