May 12, 2009

DeColonizing Europe

Book launch, films, readings, discussions

The term decolonization usually refers to a historical and political process in the former European colonies in Asia, Africa and Latin America that ended colonialism and lead to independence and the establishment of nation states based on a European model. “DeColonizing Europe” questions the traditional boundaries within and beyond Europe in terms of cultural, artistic, political and economic contexts and attempts to open new “views” for renegotiation.

What possibilities of self-reflection are facilitated by the prospect of decolonization within Europe in terms of citizenship, pluralism and democracy? How does “Europe” function as a nexus of ideas and practices that provokes resistance or affirmation within a global context even in the age of post-colonialism? What traces can be seen of the colonial era’s political economy and system of knowledge within today’s political-economic structures and discourses? What is the relationship between internal and external colonialism in terms of homogenizing and nationalizing populations? To what extent does the leitmotif of “decolonization” and the legacy of colonialism remain an inescapable factor of democratic and participatory practices in today’s Europe? These and many other questions will be discussed in the series “DeColonizing Europe,” a collaboration between the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the research program “Europe in the Middle East-the Middle East in Europe”.