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Decolonially, Bits by Bits – Walter Mignolo http://waltermignolo.com Just another WordPress site Sat, 27 Sep 2014 22:02:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 How Dewesternizing Discourse Works http://waltermignolo.com/how-dewesternizing-discourse-works/ http://waltermignolo.com/how-dewesternizing-discourse-works/#respond Sat, 20 Jul 2013 19:48:15 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/?p=976 On Friday, July 9th, i was listening Diane Rhem Show´s in the radio. The topic Edward Snowden and declarations made by Vladimir Putin to the journalist. According to one of the person participating in the dialogue, Putin made two contradictory statements.

One of them has been widely distributed and occupies many of the news title. Putin stressed that the Edward Snowden case shall not damage the bilateral relations between Russia and the US. On the other hand, he was also quoted as saying:

Speaking to journalists in the Siberian city of Chita, Mr. Putin could not deny himself the pleasure of taking a dig at Washington’s intrusive support for human rights in other countries. “Human rights activity has its downside for those who engage it. It can be quite comfortable when pursued under the tutelage of the U.S. and with its financial, information [and] political support, when somebody wants to criticise the U.S., he may have problems as the incidentw ith the Bolivian President’s plane has shown (http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/putin-defends-decision-on-asylum/article4923928.ece)-

I have read these two statement first in El Pais, two days before the show. I was surprised to hear that one of the participants considered those two statements contradictory. I thought that they were clearly complementary in the politics of dewesternization. That is:

–The first statement clearly state that international relations are very important and that Edward Snowden´s case, which is very important and has to be deal with carefully if nothing else because there is a human life in question. However, to confronting this issue shall take into account, according to Putin, the priority of not damaging international relations between the two states;

–The second statement makes clear that in spite of that, Russia has its own standards and will not accept any instructions given by the US of how they have to proceed in this case. The second statement, as the journalist of El Pais observer, is an ironic one. However, it is a true expressed with irony.

This is a good example of how dewesternization in the political sphere works. Capitalist economy is not questioned. Russia is no longer a communist state. However, political decisions are multi-polar, not longer uni-polar. George W Bush was perhaps the last president of the US that was managed to make a unipolar decision when invading Iraq. But those days seem to be long gone.

 

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Trayvon Martin: Remembering James Baldwin addressing the topic ¨Has the American Dream Been Achieved at the Expense of the American Negro?¨ Cambridge, 1965 http://waltermignolo.com/trayvon-martin-remembering-james-baldwin-addressing-the-topic-%c2%a8was-the-american-dream-achieved-at-the-expenses-of-the-american-negro%c2%a8-cambridge-1965/ http://waltermignolo.com/trayvon-martin-remembering-james-baldwin-addressing-the-topic-%c2%a8was-the-american-dream-achieved-at-the-expenses-of-the-american-negro%c2%a8-cambridge-1965/#respond Sat, 20 Jul 2013 18:55:10 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/?p=964 To the ongoing debate on Trayvon Martin and the ongoing racism and supremacy, i invite you to listen to James Baldwin thrilling speech, a speech that got Cambridge Students audience on their feet after being mesmerized and glued to his words and body during 22 or so minutes of Baldwin brilliancy. If you do not have time to watch the 58 minutes, which is worthwhile, even to hear the pathetic sort of discourse by William F Buckley:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFeoS41xe7w

¨The day  that that will be achieved, it will be a great day for Western Civilization¨ are, approximately, the closing words of his speech.

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Touching Objects or Being in (Un)Touch http://waltermignolo.com/touching-objects-or-being-in-untouch/ http://waltermignolo.com/touching-objects-or-being-in-untouch/#comments Sun, 24 Mar 2013 16:31:12 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/?p=801 1.- There are distinctions like “First World” and “Third World” that if you mention them today, you receive an ironic look, if that at all. More polite interlocutors would say something like “I see what you mean, but don’t you think that this distinction is not longer valid, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the advent of neo-liberalism”? Perhaps “First” and “Third” words do not “exist” any more, although it seems to me that some kind of reflection is necessary to understand the sensibilities and beliefs like the one you can see in these two YT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11MTIS0BRxM

http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-what-happens-when-we-touch-objects-instead-of-people?c=ufb1

 

2.- I suppose you could say that the world is moving in the direction of  touching objects and being disconnected with yourself and your body. But still calling that “Connecting.” Alienating perhaps? But true, progress is “progress” and on the name of progress sacrifices are necessary, and you can sacrifice anything in the name of progress.

And, of course, the point I am raising is not to allow youngsters in the street of Peru (first YT) to enjoy the marvels of technological connections. No, the point I am making is this: look at both YT and reflect on what kind of persons you see in each of them. I would like to say that progress and the future is announced the YT of street dancers in Peru. However, the majority would think that I am wrong, that it is the reverse: those kids in the street of Peru shall be brought up to “connecting” in the manner of the no-more “First World” people do.

Why I think so? Because I see Vania Masia’s project empowering, while I find interaction design disempowering, but good business.  I know that the leaders of interaction designs will disagree with me. And that is again the point: how is it the interaction with objects displace the interaction between people. When you loose direct connection with living organism and replace them with dead objects, it is easier to loose concern from living organisms.

You become oblivious of the no longer valid distinction between “First” and “Third” worlds. You forget that in order to have those wonderful experiences with objects that separate people (“I can do many things while talking with you, Younghee Jung observes”) while they are facing each other, you have not to ask question of the cost involved in doing business by alienating people. And I am not talking about money when I mention “cost”, I am talking about life, living organisms dying to have the possibility of certain human beings to get in touch with objects.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/blood-coltan/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7GzwjwEsQE

 

 

 

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DECOLONIAL THINKING AND EDUCATION: FRAGMENTS OF A ¨TERTULIA¨ http://waltermignolo.com/decolonial-thinking-and-education-fragments-of-a-%c2%a8tertulia%c2%a8/ http://waltermignolo.com/decolonial-thinking-and-education-fragments-of-a-%c2%a8tertulia%c2%a8/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2013 20:06:37 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/?p=797

On December 26, 2012 was held in Buenos Aires a Tertulia, convened by Walter Mignolo (Duke University) and Cecilia Hecht (BioeconTV) in a legendary cafe on Avenida Corrientes, a ¨tertulia¨ on decolonial thinking, cashless economy and education. The conversation focused on education. The topic was introduced by a quotation from the book of Ivan Ilyich (Deschooling Society) published in the early 70s. The initial paragraphs clearly state the doble side of modernity/coloniality, although Illich doesn´t use this vocabulary. However, he was thinking the double side of development: the salvationist rhetoric of modernity that conceals the imperial logic of coloniality. By day’s end and in closing the conversation, a series of points remain open for future ¨tertulias.¨

What are the spaces in which the coloniality can be effective?

The overall project, long term, is to decolonize all areas of the colonial matrix (or patron) of power to release the fullness of human relationships. This requires a horizon of life that displaces the horizon of growth / enrichment / corruption with growth management to live in harmony rather than in competition to have more.

The sphere of knowledge is critical since controlling knowledge means to control subjectivities. Decolonizing epistemology is necessary to release sensing and thinking from the prison house of aesthetics and philosophy. So to decolonize knowledge is tantamount with decolonizing being, subjectivity.

In this process, education is key. This is necessary and possible to decolonize education as schooling to free learning and creativity from global/imperial and local/state managements. The process of learning shall focus on the plenitude of people and it should  take precedence over the formation of ¨experts¨ and ¨citizens¨ at the service of the state.

El 26 de Diciembre del 2012 se realizó en Buenos Aires una Tertulia, convocada por Walter Mignolo (Duke University) y Cecilia Hecht (BioeconTV) en un legendario café de la Avenida Corrientes, en torno a pensamiento descolonial, economía sin dinero y educación. La conversación se concentró en la educación. El tema fue introducido por medio de una cita del libro de Ivan Illitch (Des-escolarizar la sociedad) publicado en los tempranos 70s. Texto en el que la doble cara modernidad/colonialidad se hace explícita aunque Illich no usara este vocabulario. Pero estaba pensando la doble cara del ¨desarrollo¨: la retórica salvacionista de la modernidad que oculta la lógica imperial de la colonialidad. Al fin del día y de la conversación las cuestiones pendientes para posible futuras tertulias son:

¿Cuáles son los espacios en los que la descolonialidad puede ser efectiva?

El proyecto general, a largo plazo, es descolonizar todas las esferas de la matriz (o patrón) colonial de poder para liberar la plenitud de las relaciones humanas. Para ello es necesario un horizonte de vida plena que desplace el horizonte de crecimiento/enriquecimiento/corrupción.

La esfera del conocimiento es fundamental puesto que el control del conocimiento significa el control de las subjetividades. Descolonializar la epistemología para liberar el sentimiento y el pensamiento es una tarea prioritaria. Por ello, descolonizar el saber es al mismo tiempo descolonizar el ser.

En este proceso, la educación es fundamental. Para ello es necesario y posible descolonizar la educación como escolaridad para liberar el aprendizaje y la creatividad desatada de los controles imperials globales y estatales locales. La formación plena de las personas tiene prioridad sobre la formación del ¨experto¨ y ¨ciudadano¨ sujeto a la concepción econóica y estatal de la persona.

 

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DISPATCHES FROM HONG KONG 5: DOUBTFUL POSTCOLONIAL/DECOLONIAL SCHOLARSHIP http://waltermignolo.com/dispatches-from-hong-kong-5-doubtful-postcolonialdecolonial-scholarship/ http://waltermignolo.com/dispatches-from-hong-kong-5-doubtful-postcolonialdecolonial-scholarship/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2012 06:08:16 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/?p=479 A book by Margaret Kohn and Keally McBride titled Political Theories of Decolonization. Postcolonialism and the Problems of Foundations (Oxford University Press, 2011), was recommended to me. I began to read it with great interest, because of the topic, and soon realized that due attention has been given to recent theoretical unfolding in decolonial thinking in Latin America (i mean, theories by people like me, of European descent). I was pleasantly surprised for it is not a common practice among Northern scholars writing in English, to pay attention to theoretical thinking written in Spanish or by Latin American authors writing in English.  Now, the good news shall not be celebrated without noticing what is missing.  Aymaras and Quechuas and Quichuas, mainly in the Andes, of which a significant amount of thinking and writing exists. I mentioned this not as a critique, for it is difficult to cover all, but to inform the reader that there is also accessible bibliography in English  to get that missing part of the story. And Afro-Caribbean thinkers have also a long lasting history of decolonial thinking and predates and questions the Eurocentered concept of “postcolonialism.”

The book is indeed useful in that it enlarges the scope of colonial legacies and global responses to it. It doesn’t distinguish properly, however, postcolonialism from decolonization, and this is indeed one serious charge we can make to the book.

However, what really caught my attention and made me doubt of its scholastic rigor  (and even of Oxford University Press academic responsibilities), is how the authors messed up the part on Latin America.  And I wonder now if the same did not happen in other chapters.  To give you an idea: when you go to the bibliography, you will find out that many of my significant works on the topic has been attributed to Eduardo Mendieta!! Eduardo and I have indeed many common interests, we have collaborated in several projects, and he has written a wonderful blurb for The Idea of Latin America. The blurb is indeed so well crafted that the authors of Political Theories attributed the book to the author of the blurb. Now, how seriously can you take what they have written about “Latin” America’s decolonial thinking.

I suspect that the authors of this book would have never attributed a work by Gyan Prakash to, say, Partha Chaterjee; or a work by Michel Foucault to Jacques Derrida: these authors are serious matter; you have to pay attention to them. But authors writing in Spanish or writing in English but “thinking in Latin American” (and I mean what I wrote: I neither mean “thinking about Latin America,” nor I mean “thinking in Latin America”). What I suspect is that there is an unconscious epistemic racism (meaning that less serious attention is paid, less cash-value being attributed) in the authors of this book that disregard and devalue certain theoretical thinking in certain regions and in certain languages–in this case that written in Spanish by Latin American authors.  Unacceptable errors have been committed and not corrected in the final proofs, or less value is attributed to theoretical contributions to people whose language is Spanish. However, this is not an isolated example. A similar case has been reported a couple of years ago.

My interest in calling attention to this issue is related to what I have been writing and talking about in several recent posting, in this blog, and in several interviews and op-eds published in the Advanced Institute of Cross Disciplinary Studies, World Public Forum and Critical Legal Thinking. It is related to the global shift in politics, economics, religions, aesthetics and epistemology. All of these combined are generating a radical shift in the geography if feeling, sensing, believing and thinking. The end of Western domination, from the right and the left, in economy and politics, in knowing (epistemology, hermeneutics) and sensing (aiesthesis, aesthetics), is under way. And in the process are indirectly making evident that the interest of major publishing houses, including university presses like Oxford, are more interesting in making profit than in the seriousness of ideas and arguments being packaged in their books.

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Decoloniality and the South West http://waltermignolo.com/decoloniality-and-the-south-west/ http://waltermignolo.com/decoloniality-and-the-south-west/#respond Wed, 01 Jun 2011 05:09:44 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/?p=207  

In the Spring of 2011, a workshop on “Decoloniality and the South West” took place at the university of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, organized by assistant professor Michael Trujillo. It was indeed a wonderful experience with participants from several disciplines and academic formations, as well as belonging to diverse ethnic communities that characterize the South West (Anglo/as, Hispanics, Native Americans and Chicano/as). One of the goals of decoloniality is to undo disciplinary formations and social classifications imposed upon us by coloniality, that is, by the colonial matrix of power. Decoloniality promotes belonging and conviviality, rather than antagonisms based on belonging. And decoloniality promotes learning to unlearn what disciplinary formations make us believe. The workshop was an exemplar moment of how disciplinary and ethnic boundaries can be transcendent without being abandoned. There cannot be interdisciplinary work if there is no ethnic equality for interdisciplinarity today is still encumbered by racism. In that vain, the workshop was preceded by a lecture in which the topic prompting some of the key issues to be discussed in the workshop: “When the other thinks/thinking without the other.”

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The Spirit Returns to the East: Hong-Kong and Decolonial Thinking http://waltermignolo.com/the-spirit-return-to-the-east-hong-kong-and-decolonial-thinking/ http://waltermignolo.com/the-spirit-return-to-the-east-hong-kong-and-decolonial-thinking/#respond Sat, 28 May 2011 09:35:10 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/?p=193  

The recently inaugurated Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Cross-Disciplinary Studies has “negotiating the past and coloniality”  as one of its five general themes of investigation. The first exploratory workshop on “Coloniality and Decolonial Thinking” will take place at the Institute on Junes 3 and 4 of 2011. For more information about the Institute and the new journal “Traverse: The Journal of Cross-Disciplinary Studies” click here.

 

 

 

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The Collective Project Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality http://waltermignolo.com/the-collective-project-modernitycolonialitydecoloniality/ http://waltermignolo.com/the-collective-project-modernitycolonialitydecoloniality/#respond Sun, 03 Apr 2011 16:16:53 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/?p=162 One of the pleasure of going to the stacks in any library that allows you to go to the stacks, is to find much more than you were looking for. Now, that pleasure is being complemented (not superseded) by the web. It so happened that looking for recent books and articles about “modernity” (a topic that apparently is beyond fashion), i found a very well done report on the project “modernity/coloniality/decoloniality.”  I do not know who the author is or are, but he or she did a very good job. It is in Spanish, but i won’t be surprised if we have soon a version in English and perhaps in other languages as well. Those of you interested in the work of the collective, will find here a well-seasoned resume and bibliography.

Here is the link

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grupo_modernidad/colonialidad

There are however a couple of points that should be reviewed. One is the word “Group.” Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality (MCD) is a “Collective Project.”  But it is not a “Research Project” for “research project” is a disciplinary description, the way the disciplines and scholars in the disciplines describe their doing. MCD, as Catherine Walsh clearly stated it at the end of an interview published in the Slovenian journal Reartikulacija (http://www.reartikulacija.org/?p=1468)

states it, it is yes a project, but not a research project in the disciplinary sense: it is project of epistemic disobedience, including of course disciplinary disobedience, that put the horse in front of the carts: rather than the method and the how, the project begin by asking what knowledge do we need, why, to advocate what cause. MDC is indeed a project that constantly works toward shifting the geopolitics of knowledge that rule research oriented disciplinary enterprises.

 

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Slavery, the Holocaust and the Challenge of Global Justice http://waltermignolo.com/slavery-the-holocaust-and-the-challenge-of-global-justice/ http://waltermignolo.com/slavery-the-holocaust-and-the-challenge-of-global-justice/#respond Mon, 19 Apr 2010 01:41:58 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/2010/04/18/slavery-the-holocaust-and-the-challenge-of-global-justice/ A Summer School in Middleburg, Holland, co-directed by Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vazquez

http://trinity.duke.edu/globalstudies/slavery-the-holocaust-and-the-challenge-of-global-justice-exploring-critical-and-decolonial-approaches,

followed up by a workshop on Critical and Decolonial Dialogues

http://trinity.duke.edu/globalstudies/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/100215-critical-and-decolonial-dialogues-Final.pdf

Both the Seminar and the Workshop are based on a basic assumptions: There are two kind of critics to modernity. One is internal to Europe, from the Frankfurt School to post-modernity. The second kind emerged in the borders of Euro/American imperial expansion and interference with the non-Euro American world. We label “critical” de first kind and “decolonial” the second, which doesn’t mean that the decolonial is not critical. It means that is critical from the exteriority of the West. That is, a critique from the “outside” invented by Western epistemology to legitimize itself as the “inside” and the point of reference to make the will turn around.

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Generar conocimientos desde adentro: los afro-descendientes, indigenas y la re-apropiación epistémica http://waltermignolo.com/62/ http://waltermignolo.com/62/#respond Sat, 30 May 2009 00:58:31 +0000 http://waltermignolo.com/2009/05/29/62/ El PIEB (Proyecto Investigaciones Estratégicas de Bolivia) acaba de publicar electrónicamente una serie de entrevistas realizadas durante el Cuarto Encuentro Internacional del Grupo Barlovento celebrado en La Paz del 18 al 24 de mayo, el cual permitió importantes escenarios de diálogo, reflexión y aproximación en torno a la historia y el presente de los afro sur-americanos. La actividad congregó a investigadores, activistas y profesionales vinculados a los pueblos afrodescendientes de Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay y Estados Unidos. Parte de los aportes del Encuentro han sido recuperados a través de entrevistas por el Servicio Informativo del PIEB y plasmados en un Dossier que hoy ponemos a su consideración, y que puede acceder haciendo click aquí. Estos documentos son fundamentales para entender que los conflictos del siglo XXI estarán marcados a todos los niveles, desde la economía a las relaciones internacionales, desde el racismo y el sexismo hasta la religión, por la disputa por el control del conocimiento. Casi simultaneamente en Puno, Peru, tenia lugar la IV Cumbre Continental de los Pueblos Indigenas de Abya Yala.

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