L’interruzione postcoloniale come lacerazione del sapere
Miguel Mellino on Postcolonial Interruptions, Unauthorised Modernities, by Iain Chambers
In his book Postcolonial Interruptions, Unauthorized Modernities (2017), Iain Chambers maintains that in the context of increasing neoliberalization processes of universities and scholarships, academic knowledge should no longer be considered the only legitimate mode of critically understanding the world. As institutional knowledge has become unable to register its own political and epistemological limits, we must turn our gaze to other kinds of languages to produce other kinds of knowledge. Chambers argues that nowadays the most interesting and sophisticated critical knowledge of the contemporary world is coming from what he calls postcolonial works of art. The work of artists like Jimmie Durham, Mike Cooper, Yinka Shonibare, John Akomfrah, Michael Haneke and others can be thought of as postcolonial epistemological interruptions of Western dominant discourses and self-representations of modernity and its histories. By codifying dissonant postcolonial experiences within increasingly complex aesthetic codes, they are giving us back non-Eurocentric and alternative versions of modernity. These works of art, which connect memories of the colonial past from a subaltern point of view with the material and psychological suffering of migrants, black subjects and people of the global south, are considered by Chambers as a crucial starting point to rethink the politics of counter-hegemonic cultural identities and knowledge against neoliberal forms of domination.
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