Aimé Césaire : Between Colonizer and Colonized
|Aimé Fernand David Césaire (26 June 1913 – 17 April 2008) was an African-Martinican francophone poet, author and politician. He was "one of the founders of the négritude movement in Francophone literature" (Wikipedia)|
- When we look at "the colonized" around the world we see that the innocuous sounding processes of colonization play out in terms of all manner of brutal, oppressive interactions.
- These can be summarized by "colonization = thingification." (348.8)
- Need to list "cultures trampled…institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed…" next to claims of "achievements" like road building or disease eradication. (348.9)
- Repeated contrasts : civilization v. proletarianization. It is by looking at what's really going on that one sees what is really being lost.
- Does the author represent an "anti-European" position? No, he says. It is not THAT Europe encountered Africa that is a tragedy; it is that this encounter occurred at a time when Europe was in the hands of a particular kind of capitalist. (350.1)
- Europe has coopted many feudal warlords and such and in the process prolonged the survival of nasty traditions. "Europe has grafted modern abuse onto ancient injustice, hateful racism onto old inequality" (350.3).
- Colonialism cannot be justified a posteriori by the material progress that happened under it. No way to know what would have happened without it.
- Bottom line is the colonized wants schools, roads, ports, forward movement; it is the colonizer who wants to say no and to hold things back. (350.6)
page revision: 8, last edited: 22 Nov 2010 18:58