Saturday, October 5, 2019

A Journey to de-border, de-peripherize, de-center, and de-colonialize


A Journey to de-border, de-peripherize, de-center, and de-colonialize[1]
Copyright © 2019 by José Cossa

Part 1

Let us journey together…
Journey together through history
But wait!!!
What history?! Whose history shall be our path?
Shall we assume that history is a place of conversion?
Shall we assume that history is a linear narrative?
Shall we assume that history is about dichotomies of victims and victimized?
Oppressed and oppressors? Exploiters and exploited?
Scientific and unscientific? Primitive and modern?
Shall we pretend that history is universal?
Shall we pretend that history is factual?
Shall we pretend that history is locked in a trichotomy of past-present-future?

(…)

Let us journey together…
Journey together down the road called ‘memory lane’
But hold on!!!
Shall we assume that memory resides in the mind?
Shall we assume that memory is existential?
Shall we assume that memory is about dichotomies of personal and collective?
The rememberer and the remembered? The subjective and the interpretive?
Shall we pretend that memory is only true when written in imposed colonial alphabet?
Shall we pretend that our ancestral oral memory is fictional?
Shall we even assume that our ancestors were illiterate?
Shall we assume that we have no history of writing prior to colonialism?
Shall we pretend that memory is locked in a trichotomy of the forgotten-remembered-written?

Let us embark on a journey…
A journey of undermined histories, suppressed memories, and dismissed people
A journey of re-called histories, re-lived memories, and woke people
People with histories deemed irrelevant
People with memories deemed demented
People whose humanity has been stripped by the erasing of their histories
People whose humanity is being restored by the re-affirming of their histories

(…)

Let us pause for a second…
Let us talk about knowledge systems
Let us talk about education
Let us talk about sustainability
Let us ask ourselves, ‘whose knowledge systems? Whose education? Whose sustainability?’
Let us not give up asking ourselves, ‘whose system? Whose expertise? Whose projects?
Perhaps if we embrace the notion of multiple histories
Perhaps if we embrace the notion of multiple memories
We will acknowledge the epistemic genocide of histories outside the borders of modernity-informed global history
We will acknowledge the ontological genocide of memories fictionalized by modernity-informed science
Perhaps we will ponder on the notion of sustainable
Perhaps we will ponder on the notion of resilience
We will acknowledge the wisdom and science of people relegated to the exterior of modernity’s borders
We will acknowledge the longevity amidst adversity
The longevity of people pounded by the evils of modernization and (let us not forget) human capital
People who contribute much less to global warming yet suffer much more from its consequences
People whose environmental consciousness and harmony with nature encompassed an education for sustainability
Uprooted people and plundered lands whose existence is relegated to the invisible and recipient status
Quieted people whose recipient status includes receiving voice
Voice from those champions of justice roaming the boarders of modernity
Champions of justice with a thirst and determination to include those we labeled ‘the marginalized’
Champions of justice with no intention to de-border modernity and the world
Champions of justice with no intention to de-center or de-peripherize the world
Champions of justice whose coloniality remains intact and coated by discourses of de-colonization, but not wanting to de-colonialize
Champions of justice filling dining tables with plans to reform education, but no plans to transform
Champions of justice planning the future of those labeled marginal and monetizing on their fate

(…)

Journey with us...
As we engage in soulful reflection
Journey with us….



[1] This poem was first presented with Rhonesha Blaché at CIES 2019, in San Francisco, during the uBuntu reception.