Decolonization, Nationalism, Imagining And Representing Communities: A Review Of Post Colonial Literature

1215 words - 5 pages

In the course of Colonization, the world was divided into binary categories of the colonizer and colonized. These binary groups were based on a division of class, gender, race, ethnicity and the oppression of cultural traditions. Traditions of language, religion, labor, and social values were based on theologies of the colonizers, enforced upon the colonized. These binaries can be associated with the Manichean binaries discussed by Frantz Fanon in his book entitled The Wretched of the Earth. In Post-Coloniality, societies gain independence either through diplomatic political transitions or violent revolutions against the occupying force. Regardless of how independence is achieved, these societies undergo a multitude of socio-cultural changes. The colonized populations struggle to rebuild their communities, individual identities and national identities. The process of this decolonization is a long-term and strenuous procedure that varies from one culture to the next. Periods of colonial oppression have negative repercussions on social structures and prohibit certain cultural growth. It is the nationalism that bonds individuals together in creating a national identity, rebuilding the state while imagining the community and representing it in the traditional cultural affiliations of the indigenous populations.

In the book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism written by Benedict Anderson the effects colonization had on Indonesia are reviewed. Decolonization of countries was induced by revolutions and the spread of nationalism after the 18th century. Independence was followed by state building based on the origin, power and function of nationalism felt in Indonesia (Anderson). Liberalism and Marxism theology plays an important role in the rebuilding of a national identity that had been affected by colonization. The development of language and allowing individuals to feel apart of a larger community was crucial in creating the national imagined community. Benedict Anderson discusses an “unselfconscious coherence” (Anderson), in which he claims is a bond shared by populations within the Post-Colonial societies. The indigenous population of Indonesia imagining the community from their own historical cultural identity, not the one created by the colonizers.

The book entitled Represented Communities: Fiji and World Decolonization by John D. Kelly and Martha Kaplan is a comprehensive analysis of Post-Colonial Fiji. During the decolonization of Fiji there was tremendous political instability, which led to several military coup attempts. The inception of a national identity is the representation of who and what the Fijian people are. Colonial strategies to represent the community based on colonizer theologies, not the colonized was a dehumanizing method in an attempt to exert control. There are two methods of colonial practice described by Fanon, the direct and the indirect. The direct or centripetal method would...

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