Original post on @saic.maffairs posted 12/7/2020.
Eric Riskes writes, “Decolonization is a goal but it is not an endpoint.”1 Decolonization of course is tied to colonialism, but is inextricably linked to matters of imperialism, social justice, power, and White Supremacy (See Lesson: Power). In the ‘Age of Exploration,’ Western countries sought to expand their power through the acquisition of land, ignoring Indigenous sovereignty, stewardship of the land, and their ways of living. In this way, decolonization is political, but it is also economic (in the possession of resources), educational (in the imposition of knowledge), cultural (in the erasure of values, attitudes, language, and beliefs), and psychological (internalization of oppression). (See Lesson: Oppression).
So what is Decolonization? Decolonization challenges, resists, and dismantles the ongoing “artificial disciplinary demarcations of dominant ways of knowing and being” that have been imposed through colonialism by Western powers.2 Decolonization is the ongoing process of engaging and opposing colonialism and must be done through the framework of Indigeneity.1
“Decolonization, which sets out to change the order of the world, is, obviously, a program of complete disorder. But it cannot come as a result of magical practices, nor of a natural shock, nor of a friendly understanding. Decolonization, as we know, is a historical process: that is to say it cannot be understood, it cannot become intelligible nor clear to itself except in the exact measure that we can discern the movements which give it historical form and content.” - Franz Fanon
Start by educating yourself, use this worksheet to learn and reflect on the history of indigenous people and your role in colonization and decolonization.
In its 6th year, the Decolonization Program is now online. This program is the vision and collaboration of BLK@SAIC, LATINXS UNIDXS, Namaste, and Native American Student Association. View the programs, films, & reading list on Engage.saic.edu.