David Boucher (Cardiff University & University of Johannesburg) - Decolonisation, Dehumanisation and Human Rights Response: Olivette Otele (Bath Spa University)
The Centre of Ethnicity and Citizenship Seminar Series
David Boucher (Cardiff University & University of Johannesburg) - Decolonisation, Dehumanisation and Human Rights
Response from Olivette Otele (Bath Spa University)
Date: 6 June 2019
Venue: G1 7 Priory Rd
Using the writings of some of the foremost anti-colonial national liberation theorists and activists of West Indian and African origin this paper seeks to portray the sense of the disingenuousness of western European powers in their championing of human rights while they denied the very humanity of the peoples colonized. One of the ways in which such rights were denied was to take control of the historical narrative of the colonies, portraying them as barbaric, backward and savage, awaiting the arrival of Europeans to precipitate their emergence from the dark ages. Although Marxist analysis was a source of inspiration in the liberation struggles his theory was deficient is theorising colonial race and racism, and was as guilty as the colonisers in denying African history. For him and the imperialists the history of Africa was a mere extension of European history. Decolonisation merely heralded neo-colonialism and the collaboration and complicity of native elites in perpetuating the structures and historical narratives of colonialism which persist in contemporary debate.