decolonisation


The world university that never was

History researchers and members of the Decolonising Initiative, Dario Willi, Siobhán Amelia Smith, Friedrich Ammermann, Amber Burbidge, Eoghan C Hussey, and Aurora Hamm describe the initial conception of the European University Institute as a “world university” rather than a “European university” and the role of Giorgio La Pira, former mayor of Florence and main advocate of this alternative vision of the EUI.

From European museums to African homelands: Restitution as geopolitics

In this post for Black History Month 2024, History researcher Aurora Hamm discusses the sudden increase in restitutions of cultural objects from Europe to sub-Saharan Africa and argues that restitutions mostly depend on geopolitical rather than on moral considerations.

Rethinking ethics review from a decolonial perspective

Doctoral researchers Raghavi Viswanath (Law), Anastasia Prokhorova (SPS), and Ophelia Nicole-Berva (SPS) unpack the construction of risk in fieldwork, consent as a process, and the issue of ‘giving back’ to communities being studied, in this takeaway from a workshop they organised.

Coloniality and the ‘aid bubble’: Can language be a driver for change?

In a look at recent initiatives to decolonialise the aid sector, humanitarian professional and STG Policy Leader Fellow Carla Vitantonio finds that big international agencies have something to learn from local organisations taking a collaborative, open approach towards language sensitivity.

Legacies of empire: Through the voice of war veteran Isaías

Nearly fifty years after the Portuguese Colonial War, Africans who were conscripted by the Portuguese and disabled in battle still struggle to claim veterans’ benefits. History researcher Carlos Martins has interviewed former soldiers to understand this painful legacy.

Early activists in the fight for restitution of African art

In this post, history researcher Dario Willi takes us back to a catalytic moment in the art restitution movement, when the Ghanaian filmmaker Nii Kwate Owoo publicised the innumerable artworks and artefacts languishing in the British Museum, after their removal from source communities in a context of colonial domination.

The end of self-delusion? Challenging slavery’s heritage in Spain and Catalonia

Catalonia’s merchants and towns profited hugely from the transatlantic slave trade after it was banned in the nineteenth century, as history researcher Adrià Enríquez Àlvaro documents. The good news is the recent movements to critique and reverse official amnesia, regarding public history and monuments.

On the commemoration in Germany of Anton Wilhelm Amo

Examining the modern commemoration of an eighteenth-century African-German scholar, history researcher Anna Orinsky warns against allowing a symbolic ‘Black biography’ to eclipse a real life and work.