Week 3: The Coloniality of Power

This week’s focus is the Coloniality of Power. I begin by establishing what is at stake using Russia’s current war on Ukraine as an example. It has not escaped notice that the approach to the 3 million Ukrainian refugees who have so far fled the country has been markedly different to the reception of refugees escaping conflict in the Global South.

Access the interactive presentation on Mentimeter

To discuss the coloniality of power, I invited Professor Jairo Fúnez to elaborate on the concept and its meaning. I have shared his conversation with me in a series of 4 videos. After introducing himself in Video 1, he started by making this point:

The lecture continues by establishing common terms of reference including race, imperialism, colonialism and coloniality. Using Anibal Quijano’s work on the coloniality of power and Nelson Maldonado-Torres’ addition, ‘coloniality of being’, the meaning of coloniality is broken down.

Jairo Fúnez helped out by elaborating on what is meant by the Modern-Colonial World System moving to elaborate on the coloniality of power:

Finally, we consider the debates around the decolonisation of education and Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang’s invocation that decolonisation should not be metaphorised. I end with a reference to the Pay the Rent collective as evoked in Kamilaroi artist, Richard Bell’s latest exhibition, You Can Go Now.

This sets the scene for our tutorial activity which engages with the recent Unsettled Exhibition at the Australia Museum.

Jairo Fúnez ends by telling us about the decolonial movements that have inspired him.


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