Last Friday afternoon 17th November, I attended a seminar organized by Professor Paul Goodwin and philosopher Professor Peter Osborne. It was not by accident I joined the meeting, since a slip of the mind delayed my response to sign up for the auspicious discussion on Decolonization. The invitation was later opened to all.
After previewing the case study 14 mins video ‘Relic’, narrated by Amelia Paillon on Vimeo, I felt an uneasiness that silenced my voice and transported me into a contemplative mode; I listened with rapt attention to the views of the attendees in the room, some seemed unease by the sound track while others on the change of picturesque landscapes, dirt roads and forested canopies.
It was interesting to note the cause of their disaffection; I left wondering if it was the absence of a related emotion to the traumatic history of a decolonized region or was it because there are no roots of indentured or enslaved ancestral ties to a once colonized country. Nevertheless I was affect from a different point of view, not connected to the heart racing forestalling rhythm of the sound track or change of sceneries: but it was a feeling of sadness and lost embedded in Caribbean history even though independence has brought some freedom and control of our own political affairs.
Howard Johnson wrote, “throughout the colonial world, the process of decolonization usually involved a transfer of political power and a conscious attempt, by the formerly colonized, to remove the vestiges of cultural and psychological dependency”. Amidst the romanticized decolonized Caribbean region lingers residues from the result of colonialism in the air, soil and minds of the people since some still struggle to find their footing today. Therefore have we succeeded in the venture to remove remnants of cultural and psychological dependency?
It would have been interesting to listen to the conclusion on the matter of incorporating African and Latin American study into Western/European academic curriculum, but duty called and clay is unforgiving.