NeMLA 55th Annual Convention, March 7-10, Boston, USA
While neocolonial structures surpass the limits of exploitation on a global scale, they enforce strategies of control and surveillance inflicting limitation on minorities and various forms of expression be it language/speech/discourse, bodies, or spaces through institutionalized violence and racist policies, sometimes backed up by conspiracy theories such as “the great replacement theory”.
History has taught us that while colonialism has economically profited the colonizers, it has in many ways exceedingly deprived the colonized populations, exploiting their labor, land, and resources to the extent of dehumanization. Excess in this case refers to both profit and loss. Colonization ended during the 1960s in most of the French territories in Africa. Meanwhile, real independence is still in process, a situation that pushed Kwame Krumah to coin the term "Neo-Colonialism", in response to the continuity of colonial rituals/habits in the post-colonial era. In the 1990s, Anibal Quijano called this phenomenon “coloniality” introducing a "decolonial" approach to de-link from the prevailing Eurocentric epistemologies and combat epistemic violence. In the Global South, the so-called post-colonial moment has brought up a new distribution of labor and movement of populations whose communities (im)migrate to the Global North for social, economic, political, or ecological reasons precisely because of the capitalist and neoliberal excess. However, the neocolonial states remain shortsighted to these consequences considering the movements and changes brought by these populations as an overburden that brings chaos, changes the demographics, and ultimately transforms the cultural landscapes. “La France ne peut pas accueillir toute la misère du monde”, a statement used by French politicians time and again, shows an instance of a state’s reluctance to take responsibility for the over-exploitation of its former colonies. Oftentimes, such reluctance translates into policies that regulate bodies and cultural expressions in the name of “integration”. After 700 migrants from Africa and Arab descendant perished in Lampedusa in April 2015, Fatou Diome pointed out in the French TV Show “Ce soir ou jamais” that minorities coming to Western countries are hypervisiblized while at the same time Europeans’ free movement around the world is normalized; “c’est le mouvement des puissants, ceux qui ont l’argent, ceux qui ont le bon passeport” she states. The white cis-male gaze for that reason keeps categorizing Africans and other minorities as an overwhelming threat, when Westerners’ countless actions across the Globe are invisibilized, normalizing themselves as “the Right”, “the Just”, “the Truth", etc.
We invite papers that explore topics related to resistance to neocolonial capitalist and patriarchal structures of power in the context of contemporary Arabfrancophony and francophone Africa and its diaspora.
Visit link below for more information and to submit an abstract: