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Decolonization, Violence, and Knowledge

By Virginia Millacci
Co-Chair of the Queer People of Color Conference

The lexicon of “decolonization” is conducive to establishing a fundamental yet oversimplified conceptualization of the procedure of decolonizing, frequently (unintentionally) neglecting the necessary and sufficient conditions of violence and epistemological power dynamics. Instead, “decolonization” is assumed and defined in terms of undoing colonial rule, connoting a hierarchy of power that is conceptually and lexically believed to be absent from a democratic society. However, if “decolonization” is oversimplified in broader terms as the absolute substitution of one group of individuals over another, then the root of this procedure is no longer the desired absence of a particular ruling state, but an examination of how and why the ruling state has secured and propagated its power. Therefore, decolonization is manifested through the schema for total disorder, unraveling the thread that has fabricated the colonized.

This is always a violent act.

This is the act of destroying the protection of privilege, the normalization of silence, and the disposability of lives.