Colonial practices and thoughts are not in the past, they laid the groundwork for all of the power structures that rule us to this day. The way we relate to land is no different. The soon to be launched Decolonial Centre emerges from the historical need to advance decolonial efforts in the 21st century. Guided by the pillars of racial, epistemic and climate justice, the centre wants to build a transnational alliance for the decolonial liberation of peoples and lands. We are actively seeking people willing to articulate partnerships, channel resources and spread the word! Join our community of allies by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the full liberation from colonial thought and practice
For at least 590 years, peoples and communities across the globe have stood up against colonialism and its legacies (also known as coloniality) that to this day invade, extract and commodify lands and lives. Alternatives are being built by the exploited, and the struggle to protect life in all its dimensions wages on. The Decolonial Centre holds that either we decolonise, or the very fate of our species and the earth’s life-supporting systems is at risk. The prevailing economic and political order was built upon the invasion of the Americas, the transatlantic slave trade, and the subordination of the entire planet under Western-European colonial regimes. Despite the myth of decolonisation being finished, coloniality continues to maintain its relentless urge to destroy lands, peoples and their knowledges in order to make a profit. This has brought our relationship with Nature close to a destructive point of no return and continues to subordinate the majority of the world’s population under a system of oppression that only benefits a few. Led by young activists from the Global South, the Decolonial Centre echoes a necessary global and just ecological transition that must prioritise communities over states, people over corporations, and life over death.
We want people of all backgrounds to feel that they can play a part in this collective struggle. The Decolonial Centre will convene spaces to exercise our political imagination, so that we can collectively and critically reflect on the colonial legacies that guide the way we think, act and relate to others. In the UK, for example, white working-class people often identify more with the distant reality of the British Crown than with their black working-class comrades. The idea of race, a device invented by Europe to justify human trafficking, land theft and slavery, to this day permeates the foundations of structural class inequality around the world. However, to disrupt this colonial framework we must foster perspectives that facilitate connections between the dispossessed. This is not about managing white or colonial guilt. We call for collective responsibility, which includes the humility to acknowledge other sources of references, practices and thoughts that allow us to rebuild the flame for another possible world that the motto “There Is No Alternative” has for so long tried to put out.
For us, to “decolonise” is no metaphor. It is an unfinished process necessary for the foundation of an economic and political order built on the principles of equality, reparations, solidarity, respect, ecological responsibility, racial and epistemic justice. When it comes to land justice, we want to foster the debate on effective popular participation in decision-making processes. Land is not a commodity, but a space of connection and belonging for communities all over the world. Legislation on land tenure and land use can no longer be built behind closed doors. Development megaprojects cannot continue destroying livelihoods and ecosystems without communities being able to stand up for the right to say no. Through audiovisual media, the Decolonial Centre’s social media channels will act as a glossary that helps people make sense of what colonialism is and its legacies. Videos and live-discussions will act as a space for historical awareness, political education, and commentary on current affairs. The Decolonial Centre will be known as the go-to digital resource to understand colonialism, its power dynamics and the historical struggles against it. In the immediate term the Decolonial Centre is looking to launch its first headquarters in the United Kingdom. However, we have transnational ambitions. In the future, Decolonial hubs across the world will raise awareness on colonialism, neo-colonialism and the struggles against them, in various languages, and from a strong social-scientific perspective coming from the worlds most marginalised intellectuals and activists. Ultimately, we want to enable a forum for activists and community leaders to articulate strategies and share experiences of decolonial/anti-/counter-colonial resistance, fostering grassroots alternatives already under construction. Get in touch and let’s build this alliance together!