Are you triggered yet? Hmmmm I’m wondering where I was when I wrote this title. I think I was in Edinburgh. I’m not sure why I thought it was such a good idea. Not many people are ready to openly admit it. Well not when they understand what the implications of the title colonialist really are. There are still people out there that believe civilising people is still a thing. We don’t mainly call it that anymore. However if you hear someone banging on about education, to me that’s code. In my own unique and very special way I am still a colonialist. How couldn’t I be. I am a white woman, living in South Africa experiencing extreme privilige every single day.
Education has always been a questionable subject for me. As I write this with all my privilege. After all I can read and write. Only in one language though, English, which is already and unfair advantage on a global scale. Despite this I have often wondered what do we ‘educate’ people for? It largely seems that we educate people so that why can have better economic opportunity and that also seems a little strange. When you are like me and working out your very own Earth mission. Aren’t we supposed to be happy where we are? Aren’t we suppose to accept people as they are? Yet for some reason we all go about pretending that we have answers, sometimes to problems that don’t exist.
These ideas of transformation have been plaguing me for years. In fact paralysing me for years as I’ve wondered what is the best thing to do? How do we help without hindering.? How do we help without changing what is? How do we help with out creating ever more problems down the line. Solutions seem to gather problems when we push them out on a global scale. Especially when we have a whole load of white saviours to deliver the message to people that don’t want it and can’t be heard screaming no.
You see even the mundane everyday solutions have massive global impact. Do you remember the advent of bottled water? Now we are to embarrassed to ask when we don’t carry our own water supply. I’m not drinking your bottled water thanks. How militant are you prepared to be? What happened to good old fashioned jugs? Do you remember all those people that made a fuss about bottled water? There are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. Active corrosion of our human rights delivered to us in an easily consumable capitalised package.
I’m back thinking about the coltan in my computer again. How fucked up the mining situation is in Congo as a result? How many child slaves are working on my behalf to create some beautiful connectivity devices? It got me thinking in the inverse. Why would we remove connectivity from Congo. You see when we take resources for forcible redistribution what are we really taking? Yesterday I watched a Ted Talk by and Aboriginal activist who wanted to know why 50,000 years of Aboriginal knowledge and history was deemed worthless by colonialist? I often wonder how much the Scottish Enlightenment had to do with fucking up the world as the worship of science eluded magic and the known in the unseen.
Even yesterday I was witness to the most incredible conversation about walls and boundaries that the bigger our walls the greater our debt. The things that we have taken from the collective without permission. It seemed to ring true and strike a tone that I am still feeling into. Maybe it isn’t just about the physical? Maybe it about the emotional too? What did you take with out giving. Certainly explains a lot about the process of holding on and letting go. Is there ever true flow or is always a process of osmosis working through one permeable wall at a time.
So yes I am a colonialist. Even it I’m simply colonising social media with content, your brain with ideas and my emotions to be productive. Maybe you thought that I might give you five easy ways to decolonise your life? Maybe you thought this might be about the plight of the unheard and the unseen? Given that most of them haven’t been heard for a while now. Let me hand you over the Kimberley Jones who can explain it much better.