Postcolonial Hierarchies
© Bildagentur Panthermedia / Anton Balazh
Public Lecture by Prof. Dr. Paul Basu

Colonial Heritage and Knowledge Production in Conflict

February 26, 2023
7:00 pm
University of Freiburg

In this lecture Paul Basu reflected on the relationships between colonialism and conflict, and colonialism and the production of knowledge about conflict through the lens of two periods of conflict in the West African state of Sierra Leone. The first period concerns the so-called Hut Tax War and Mendi Uprising of 1898, which followed the declaration of the Sierra Leone hinterland as a British Protectorate. The second, one hundred years later, concerns the 1991-2002 Sierra Leonean civil war, which followed 30 years after Sierra Leone’s independence from British rule. Commissions were appointed in the aftermath of both periods of conflict to investigate the causes and events of the conflicts, and to make sense of the seemingly senseless violence. Basu explores these processes of meaning-making and the colonial and postcolonial hierarchies of value they reveal. What kinds of knowledge inform the work of these commissions and their reports? Whose voices and testimonies are attended to? What purpose do these narratives of conflict serve? What truths do they obscure?

9. May 2023 – 19:00
Dr. Rafeef Ziadah

Public Lecture (hybrid)

“Logistical hierarchies and new forms of resistance in and through the Arabian Peninsula”

by Dr. Rafeef Ziadah (King’s College London)

This lecture examines how the Arabian Peninsula, with its strategic location at the intersection of global trade routes, has become a key site for the development of transport infrastructures and the consolidation of logistical hierarchies. These logistical hierarchies are not only economic, but also political and social, as they shape the movement of people and goods and reinforce pre-existing regional power dynamics. Dr. Rafeef Ziadah, moreover, will highlight the intersection of such logistical hierarchies with militarism, as the Arabian Peninsula has become a site for the deployment of military forces and the establishment of military bases, which are often intertwined with the development of logistical infrastructure, such as maritime ports. Finally, the analysis focuses on possibilities of resistance, including workers’ strikes, protests, and grassroots campaigns for human rights. The lecture thus emphasises the ways in which these resistance movements challenge and disrupt not only logistical hierarchies but also the militarisation of the broader region.

This event is part of the ALMA lecture series “Postcolonial Hierarchies and their Contestation from the Global South” organized by the Arnold Bergstraesser Institut (ABI) and its partners of the Postcolonial Hierarchies Network.

Registration required / to the event via Zoom click here.

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© Bildagentur Panthermedia / Anton Balazh