Africa Knows! It is time to decolonise minds

Accepted Paper: C15-04. To panel C15.

Title of paper:

Postcolonial geopolitics of knowledge in the context of African Studies

Tatiana Gavristova (Yaroslavl Demidov State University);
Nadezhda Khokholkova (The Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences).

Long abstract paper:
Over the centuries, Africa was considered as a wild backward periphery and Africans as barbarians excluded from knowledge production, from culture and history. The «colonial library» was spread by foreigners - writers, adventurers, missioners, colonial officers. They were interested in creating «an image of Africa» changed over time, but always remained a cliché transformed in stereotypes.

Epistemological decolonization started in the mid-20th century is still ongoing. At the end of the 20th century, Africa went beyond the framework of Eurocentric ideas, declaring itself not only a continent with a rich and diverse culture and considerable potential, but also capable of shaping a worldview and uniting people all over the world. Africa and the African Diaspora have created a phenomenon known as Trans-Africa. Its intellectual, cultural, gender, personal, everyday histories keep topicality and applicability, engaging people throughout the world.

The turn of the 20th and 21st centuries was marked by a dramatic change of «discoursive formats». Postcolonial discourse has drawn African intellectuals into the field of research and has taken to the forefront of world science and humanities. Ali Mazrui, Abiola Irele, Frantz Fanon, Valentin-Yves Mudimbe, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Toyin Falola contributed to the transformation of the metanarratives on Africa and African Diaspora. Philip Emeagwali - the Father of the Internet; Dambisa Moyo and her book «Dead Aid» (2009), followed by Leonce Ndikumana; Achille Mbembe and his ideas of Afropolitanism, «necropolitics» and «postcolony»; etc. - have inspired a «cyber attack» on stereotypes as well as the Eurocentric system of knowledge, by suggesting strategic fairness in partnerships, thus opening the portals of the «postcolonial library» opened.

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