have stamps to spare will be sending out #decolonizehistory packages with stickers + silkscreen patch!

msg your mailing address will send to the first 10-15 people depending on amount of stamps needed

(if you are one of the first 10-15 people I will reply to the message to let you know!)

Pop Culture and Colonialism

I think pop culture as it currently exists shows how much we haven’t decolonialised our minds. We still talk positively of Beyoncé ‘conquering the world’ and are obsessed with hierarchy - who’s the Queen of Hip Hop? the King of Pop? We still want our celebs to live like royalty and be better than us rather than one of us. They yacht and wear Oscar de la Renta and have holiday homes in France and we cheer that on. We want celebs to act like empires - ‘she just took America!’ ‘his performance destroyed her performance at the VMAs!’.

A type of pop culture that is more democratic, that is not about replicating royalty/empire stuff, is possible. Maybe bottom-up hip hop is that? Maybe Lorde explicitly saying ‘we’ll never be royals’ is that? I dunno. This sorta ties in with what bel hooks was saying about ‘would we still idolise Beyoncé if she weren’t rich?’


Maria da Silva Benfica was imprisoned as a 23-year-old for sending supplies to resistance guerrilla forces in 1977, two years after the Indonesian occupation began. She was interrogated in the notorious Sang Tai Ho centre in Dili and shuttled between there and the Comarca (Balide) prison, where she was singled out for brutal treatment, including torture, until her release in June 1978. Almost 30 years later, Maria’s life in independent East Timor is dedicated to assisting other ex-political prisoners and keeping the memory of their experiences alive.

1st image (top): Maria, 23, photographed by Indonesian officials at the doorway of Balide (Comarca) prison Dili, soon after her imprisonment, February 1977.

2nd & 3rd images (middle):  Identity card of student Maria issued by East Timor’s colonial administration in July 1975, fifteen months after Portugal’s radical revolution initiated decolonization in its African and Asian colonies.  Indonesia invaded Portuguese Timor six months later, and Maria became a prisoner of Indonesia in January 1977, while still a student.

4th image (bottom): Maria in an interview with Jill Jolliffe for The Living Memory Project

Text and images: Interview with Maria da Silva Benfica, Southeast Asia Digital Library

nobody talks about the non white genocides, nobody talks about the 2.5 million Indian soldiers the British used in WW1, nobody talks about the horrific total number of OVER 54.5 MILLION deaths due to famines over the course of the British rule, did you know during some of them the number of people dead was so large that the bodies couldn’t be buried or cremated?

but nobody wants to talk about dead brown people

There’s this post about how if your feminism doesn’t include destroying racism it’s white supremacy.

This is why it’s white supremacy. Like yeah Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a man, but he’s also a man of color. Gloating about how Lucy, a film where a white woman who’s shown to be shooting men of color for not speaking English in a country where English isn’t widely spoken… isn’t intersectional feminism. Instead it’s the essence of white feminism because it’s glorifying the white hero in a non white country, when we are less than a century away from white Europe having colonized the majority of what is now referred as “third world countries” make no mistake colonialism is not dead. So basically if you see Lucy in the theater unfollow me rn.

Boycott Lucy, watch Hercules.

Israel using illegal weapons in Gaza
July 21, 2014

Israeli occupation forces are using lethal and internationally banned weapons in their aggressive war against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, experts and witnesses said this morning.

Israeli warplanes fired white phosphorus munition in the eastern Gaza Strip. White phosphorus burns fiercely and can set cloth, fuel, ammunition and other materials on fire, and cause serious burns or death. It was heavily used by Israel during its savage war on Gaza in 2008/2009, and caused many severe casualties.

Meanwhile, witnesses said that the Israeli occupation used flechette bombs on Saturday in the Shujaya neighbourhood causing the death of 100 civilians in the bloodiest day Gaza has witnessed so far.

Doctors saw bodies with nail shrapnel, and removed them from the wounds of those who came into hospital. While, several people and journalists collected nails from bomb sites and posted their photos on Facebook.

In the early days of the Israeli war, Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert told a press conference in Al-Shifa Hospital that he found effects of DIME weapons on the bodies of the Palestinian casualties.

"A good number of the injuries seen here are consistent with the use of dense inert metal explosives, or DIME, that we saw during the 2009 attack and also in 2006," said Gilbert.

He continued: “The bodies are pretty much destroyed by the enormous energy released by the explosives that are shot near them or at them.”


Illegal weapons supplied by $8.5 million daily aid from the US to Israel.

By Andi Sharavsky | Jan 9, 2014 | Reductress.com

So, you’re going abroad to an underdeveloped country. Good for you! Everyone is already impressed with your bravery and selflessness, but it’s important to make sure your help and goodwill have the most lasting effects – on social media! If Oprah and Angelina have taught us anything, it’s that giving solely for the sake of giving is a missed photo op and a waste of everyone’s time. The following photo tips may not give your host family easier access to clean drinking water, or provide them protection against parasitic worms and merciless warlords, but they will ensure that everyone you know sees that you are basically a living saint.

1. Cradling the child to your bosom.

The classic shot. Instantly invokes images of the Blessed Virgin Mary and that sad dust bowl mom. For added poignancy, stare off into the distance. Suggested caption: Any lyric from “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston.

2. While playing sports with all of the village children.

Women playing sports is already adorable, so this one is a no-brainer. Add a dusty, remote shanty town as a backdrop, and you’re golden. Suggested caption: “Who needs a personal trainer when you have these little cuties to kick your butt? Just kidding, Todd, I’ll be back in a few weeks, get those kettlebells ready!”

3. While wearing traditional native garb.

Really emphasize your newfound reverence for this developing country’s unique culture by incorporating it into your look. Be careful about camera angles though; dashikis do NOT cinch at the waist! Suggested caption: “I let my little host sister give me a makeover, and this is the most naturally beautiful I’ve ever felt in my life!”

4. The Family Portrait.

This quintessential shot of you and your host family (with you crouched down with their children, obviously) will show everyone how fully accepted, appreciated, and adored you are by the very people you came to help. Suggested caption: “They ended up teaching me more than I could ever teach them.” Or any lyric from Wicked’s “For Good.”

The most important thing to remember about your trip is that one person can’t really make a difference in the world, but she CAN look beautiful and benevolent while trying. You will forever cherish the posts you made on your timeline, so invest in a nice camera and get posting for all your family, friends, and vague acquaintances to see! After all, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does its Klout score go up? And if NPR never sends you your tote bag, was it even worth it to donate?

Source: http://reductress.com/cutest-ways-photograph-hugging-third-world-children/

I rarely see this mentioned so I wonder if people just don’t realize what a national travesty Mt. Rushmore is.

The Black Hills is sacred land to the Oglala Lakota tribe.  The Oglala Lakota used to own that land through a treaty with the U.S.  I mean, it was their land pre-white-colonization, but then the US started to colonize it and later gave the Black Hills back to them through the Treaty of 1868.  Once gold was found on the land, however, prospectors migrated and set up shop in the 1870s. The government took back the Black Hills land, because of the gold. In 1927, Mount Rushmore was constructed into the hills.

In simple terms: the colonizers stole the Oglala Lakota’s land, “gave” it back, found out it had capitalistic value, took it again, and then carved their own leader’s crinkley-ass white fucking faces into the mountains that were considered to be sacred, like do you realize how fucking MONSTROUS that is????

Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?
—  David Ben-Gurion, first Prime minister of Israel, quoted in Goldmann, Nahum;The Jewish Paradox : A personal memoir (1978) p. 99

A troubled past: Slavery in East Africa is a subject that is not talked about often enough.  Typically, conversations about slavery only discuss slaves that were taken to the Americas but slaves were also taken in East Africa throughout what is now Tanzania, Congo, and other modern-day countries in the region as well.  Many slaves were taken from the area around Lake Tanganyika - forced into servitude by Arab slave traders who raided villages or sometimes sold into slavery by kings,  The slaves were then forced to walk from where they were captured to Bagamoyo, on the coast.  This journey would take months and many slaves died along the way.

The slaves were often forced to carry the other valuable commodity of the region with them: ivory (see top picture) and were chained together, 50 or 100 at a time for this long forced-walk to the coast (see bottom picture).  Slavers such as the infamous Tippu Tip - who was supposedly named after the noise his gun made if you were too exhausted to walk - made a fortune off of this trade and up until the colonial period, these Arab slave traders had a big presence in the area.  Not that colonialism was any better though; it’s true slavery was used to justify colonialism but was the system of forced labor where colonial subjects would pay ‘tax’ to the state through forced labor an improvement?  It’s difficult to qualify such matters but I just wanted to put things into context.

As you travel to the West of Tanzania, you can still see the effects of slavery today.  Though the Waswahili people and others who lived on the coast had a positive interaction with Islam, many on the interior very much did not because of slavery.  Thus, as you travel more and more west in Tanzania (and finally into Congo), you see less and less mosques because of this.  So, though this history was over a hundred years ago, it’s certainly not something that can - or should - be forgotten that easily.  

Pictures were taken, top to bottom, at the National Museum of Tanzania in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and the Holy Ghost Mission in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.

anonymous said:

Have you just woken up and suddenly decided that you hate your own country? You're British and your ancestors probably helped served the British Empire. The British Empire was the greatest thing to ever happen to the world. We helped to develop countries and bring civilisation to Africa, America and Oceania. I literally wouldn't have been born were it not for the British Empire. I, for one, am proud of our empire and you should be too!

My ancestors were Indian. Helped serve the British Empire? You think they had a choice? 

Are you seriously trying to tell me that British rule did good for India? Go and open a history book that isn’t whitewashed beyond all recognition. Go and speak to the descendants of the peoples that were colonised. Ask them about the ‘good’ the British Empire did for their countries. Ask about the Koh-i-Noor diamond.

I may be British, but I’m of Indian heritage, and I’m ashamed of what one part of my identity did to the other. It hurts me to even think about it. But it’s the reality. 

Are you so lacking in compassion, so wrapped up in Britain’s greatness that you’ve managed to read a list of crimes no country should ever have had the power to commit (heavy trigger warnings on this for violence, murder, rape), and still come out of that supporting the regime that literally killed for its own profit and glory? 

You think that we were in any position to ‘civilise’ anyone? You think invaders have that right? 

When you want to step out of your snowy white fantasy land and join the real world, then we’ll talk. 


Utopia (Australia, 2014)


Utopia is a documentary about the past and present of the brutality inflicted on Aboriginal peoples by the white invaders.

While we hate the fact that this documentary is only getting attention because it’s a white male saying what Aboriginal Australians have been saying forever, it is nevertheless a must watch.

surauvers said:

1/2 In my US History class the Professor went into talking about Histrocism and into how Christopher Columbus and other people who conquered around the world weren't really bad by the standards of the times they lived in since it was common place, he seemed to atleast be able to acknowledge the ramifications of slavery and colonialism but something about "everyone was doing it then so nobody thought it was wrong" bothered me. It seems like it lumps everyone together into a hive mind and that--

2/2 just doesn’t seem right. He also made it out that just like they thought it was right we think it was wrong because those morals were ingrained in us as normal. But I believe as long as there has been oppression there has been opposition and as long as there has been status-quo and normalcy there has been deviation just like today. So couldn’t we agree that everyone then didn’t think the same and agree that everyone can disagree with anything? Or is it closer to what the professor said?

I’m kind of blown away by this, just because I’m not sure who your professor is theoretically surveying for opinions here. Because I am pretty fricking sure that if you asked the people being murdered and/or enslaved, they would say yeah, it’s pretty bad.

If we are limiting ~opinions on genocide and colonialism~ to Europeans, well. First of all, the idea of something being “normal” wasn’t actually a thing yet, and wouldn’t be for some time. At least, not the way we think of it today.

If we limit out “opinion survey” ONLY to Europeans directly involved with colonizing, there are a ton of examples that demonstrate acknowledgement of what we could call abnormal levels of violence that were routinely happening as a direct result of colonization. One of the notorious Captain Cook’s own men described his behavior as “irrationally violent," and desertions were pretty rampant. When Prince William Ansa Sasraku was sold into enslavement rather than being transported to England for English instruction, the novel written about it was quite popular. You don’t write a novel about something if it’s not an unusual occurrence. I’m not even going to get into stuff like King Leopold in the Congo because I will literally throw up. NO ONE thought that was “normal”.

I could give endless examples, but the real problem here is

1. the normalization NOW of violence in “the past”

2. apologism.

What we have here is a near-terminal case of “Things Were Just Like That Back Then”. There is a enormous cultural concept of the past as a cesspit of bloody-minded violence, oppression, exploitation, and nonstop existential horror that was supposedly so commonplace that no one would bat an eyelash at seeing their neighbors rent limb from limb as a matter of course on a Wednesday morning.

The thing I find so frustrating is that shaking people loose from the idea that history is a line graph that goes “things were really bad, then became better!” is almost impossible. I’m not just talking about non-academics, either…academics and historians can be even worse about it. It just isn’t true. Depending on what societies and eras you’re trying to draw comparisons to, violence is much more “normalized” NOW than it was in the past.

*takes a deep breath*

Anyways. What is a more fruitful line of thought is to consider why people try to serve up this kind of apologism for colonialism, genocide, and enslavement. It’s excruciatingly obvious that your professor is trying the line of “well, it wasn’t that bad because ____.” Apologism comes in all your classic white supremacist flavors: “Africa already had slavery”, “Native Americans were already at war with each other”, and of course, “Violence was just how things were back then so blah blah Social Darwinism.”

^^^ All of that nonsense is meant to justify how things are now, like white supremacy and gun violence in American culture, institutionalized racism, sexism, classism, and a bunch of other crap that so many facets of our history education are tailored to maintain. Exaggerating violence in the past is a way of making the present seem “less bad”, which is supposed to make us more okay with the violence and oppression that surrounds us. And the idea that even IF violence was normalized in the past in popular opinion, that it somehow is subject to some kind of moral relativism that we should all observe with “objectivity” is a moral failure in itself.