tv The Stream 2019 Ep 196 Al Jazeera December 10, 2019 7:32am-8:00am +03
the f.b.i. when it investigated contacts between donald trump's presidential campaign and russia but the justice department did find a number of errors in how the f.b.i. handled the inquiry russia and ukraine of agreed to implement a full ceasefire in eastern ukraine by the end of the year the 2 leaders met for the 1st time formally in paris a chilean military cargo planes disappeared with $38.00 people on board it took off from the southern city of punta at any us and was heading to antartica a search and rescue team has been deployed for a judge today those are the very latest headlines from us here at al-jazeera coming up next is the stream. we were told that because russia has been addressed by turkey we listen what is the proposal. for a couple of years we meet with newsmakers and the stories that matter. in
the stream today we're kicking off a weeklong look at the global impact of colonial colonialism and how does colonialism shape the wealth that we actually live in and what ways has it influenced your life so many of you have already answered that question with hash tag because colonialism and i'll be sharing your responses throughout the week so join our conversation on twitter or live on you tube. ok my jaffery story university of amsterdam and you are in. by the early 19th century a vast majority of the world's nations have been colonized by european powers the empire building average source driven exploitation of states and their populations
continue to influence the world today from language religion and cultural beliefs to an economic systems in 7 countries colonial practices included slavery genocide and the creation of political and ethnic divisions that remain to this day others have argued that western call lies zation in some instances benefit colonized populations with the rule of law and also infrastructure so joining us to talk about colonialism history and how it's remembered today and bangalore india priyamvada gopal professor of english at the university of cambridge she's also the author of insurgent empire anti-colonialism and british descent in the u.s. state of indiana. and they show an associate professor of comparative literature cinema and media studies at indiana university and in lisbon portugal. president of the association of history teachers in portugal welcome all of you to the stream and i want to start with our community because they have so much to say so i'll
start with this tweet from someone who's handle is the humble milkmaid they write colonialism has affected my life because we still proudly use english names because country injuries start with european conquest as the 1st historical intrigue date and because many people can't name 20 facts about their tribe of origin so priya i'll turn to you with this because this is what you've studied this is what you teach is the really big question to start with how is colonial colonialism impacted your life but i want to do just that what would you give as your answer. well i always begin my or lecture. you're telling my students that i wouldn't be in that room if it wasn't for naught macaulay's 835 minutes which created what he called a race of people not english blood and color but in other ways so english
education in india was intended to create a class of interpreter between the colonial government and the vast indian population and i belong my ancestors belong to that breed of people as it were english in every way but blood and color so the very fact that i speak english and i'm speaking english to you now and that i teach english is intimately bound up with colonialism and this is something i always insist my students understand when i'm in the room we go i'm just thinking about how we think of ourselves in the world and somehow the influences of colonisation still feel so frewen as priya was discussing you were born in angola yes was at the time it was a it was a colony of portugal so that makes you african as well as portuguese do you feel i'm. not much actually ok so this concept of how do you think of yourself in the world from the portuguese perspective as
a as a country that had colonies how does that impact the way that you navigate the world we think about the world. well to begin with as you said i was born in one goal when it was a portuguese colony and it marked my existence for sure because while i was there until i was 10 wrong and i didn't really. realize our much in a segregated society i leave i mean detail was the official tally was that it wasn't significant society and i only came became conscious of these when i actually when i returned or 2975 and later on studying in 4 to schools public schools state schools and. everything cool leagues from angola and mozambique from the former colonies which. in and goal lloyd self i
didn't have in school so that says a lot about the system that was in place and only to shape me so my. conscience of portuguese colonialism in collusion in general. was a late. came late in my life let's say what i wanted from now and then on the final . well. to begin with. i didn't really question the way society was organized in angola. so i didn't never questions why we lived in. you know i lived in the center on law in a place that was called new leaves one at a time and always one goal. was to leave the 2nd biggest city in the role of the 2nd most important city and go and actually we lived in a white sheet only the servants. were african were black.
and. i never questioned that and it was sort of it i thought it was normal when we traveled around i saw the i sold the africans. the different tribes that constitute an all. india villages leaving their lifes and for meat was like. they made part of the landscapes imo but they didn't it really didn't come to me that they were the real inhabitants of that place for myself. so i hear your story and i want to share one more this from a couple of people who mentioned this one be a tweet one via video comments and clearly people are on the same wavelength here so this person sitting on twitter says because cornell is still exists in the economic grounds we're getting into specifics here he writes i have asked and world bank and that's why many africans risk their lives seeking
a better life outside of the continent even though africa is the richest continent in terms of resources culture history and a dynamic population you can see where where this person's views are on that but someone else takes up on that idea about the economic ground and seeing the legacy of colonialism there this is alderman young he's an assistant professor at princeton university and here's what he told us. the majority of private capital is allocated to developed countries europe north america japan and then whatever small sliver of capital is left capital the highest risk premium is allocate it to the former colleagues and i think this is reminiscent of the colonial plight into their case the point consequence of this is that sudan's largest or most profitable export actually is a sudanese people themselves who dance human capital the best of which is professionalism laborers go to your north america the middle east and are forced to work there to earn a living because of the lack of economic opportunities that. this carries often
have many resonances with the spirit of the 19th century of and slave men and then the quality of market. a lot in there but the economy and currency really make of that. i can go ahead. oh ok i was just going to say that it's actually an go and take because for me it's not so much british gotten anything i'm no idea what's going on at that british india will. uganda than i was. but for me growing up i think it's the american colonialism which is more of a quarter owing paley's in media religion kind of i think i actually spoke moderate amine because by the time i came to my sense of myself as an individual nigeria was
that the panic country so i really didn't have a colonial experience and know from reading from study from history that if you're with a colony and if i don't speak english nigeria is a function of that but i guess that for me the fight even at night you know is becoming independent there was also before that admission to the social space which was dominated by american media so my being in america i don't know that there really is a result of that but i guess that part of the reason why we talk about colonialism to be even so much it is of course because of the colonial history but also because i'm going to i think in over the american empire have defined back and actually have truly been in practice and so we need in america to find that people are going on about the war to look for ways of life find a better option of that look at what we don't call their off. i can't remember any more. but. that's what happens when we move
on pretty you get what you had to go ahead no i just i just wanted to agree that one way in which we all share the legacy of the european empire was the age of empire is that we most of us live in capitalist economies and capitalism is very much tied up with the imperial project and although it had very profound our cultural and racial guy venture you can't really understand colonialism without understanding capitalism so even the sense that colonialism was in the past i think is likely misguided because if you live in a capitalist economy which most of the world does then you are very directly every single day engaging with the legacy the afterlife as i prefer to call it the afterlife the ongoing lie if of colonialism of the european imperial project so i was just agreeing with up in the air that that is quite vital and that in some ways
the mantle of colonialism does shift from the european empires to america but we also need to be attentive to the ways in which it is now shifting to parts of the post-colonial world the ways in which brazil china and india are starting to play a role as you know in some ways as as colonizers involved in massive amounts of appropriation and resource extraction i just want to actually get to this conversation and that is looking at the legacy of what european nations left behind in the developing world and kind of judging that in terms of was anything left behind that was positive how we build on something that's been a positive legacy something came to mind and it's often used as an example a humorous example of what potentially could. be a positive angle i want to show you a little clip from 1979 film called the life of brian have
a look here my laptop it is cool to find study of colonialism from this tweeter up here and let me just play a 20 seconds also i have a listen. i mean are they ever given up in front. of. the trash oh yes i should remember used to be like you know all gonchar sanitation of true things around and i've got 8 a rope which point obviously dark road when i was going at. prayer so this is you know i think this is this is this is the idea that you have the terrible people they brought up this this is and it goes on and on and on and on. second yes well it's the railways claim right so in britain if you raise the question of empire people will say yes but the railways well to rob me the great
guy and then the. anti colonial writer and campaigner had a very good riposte to those he said you know the british didn't build railways in africa or india so that africans and indians could visit their friends they did it as part of a resource extraction project the railways in africa invariably ledge to ports from which the materials could be shipped out in india it was part of an. administrative apparatus so just because certain things got left behind and then they got used by the legatees of colonialism doesn't mean that they were done with the benefit of of colonial subjects in mind we have a tendency to take something that happened then make it positive but that doesn't mean it was it was put there with a positive intention to go ahead well you might see that. so i only got me oh ok no i was just going to i was just going to say that that comparison that
you see there on the life of brian with the roman empire is it and fair because the romans that they did they are patient and then colonization will it spread over a little a little period and also they didn't have the means that european nations and in the 19th century so the colonisation of the 19th and was much faster and much brutal much more brutal to my point of view and also the other point i wanted to just to talk about was about the you talked about brazil and a sink brazil is a very good case of a country where the declination still asked to be done inside brazil because there is a. there is obviously in brazil a very very obvious division between the european this people that descended from from european and the others and it's very structural and i think.
all a lot of these let in american kids are very good example of something in the ulf way between. between the 2 ideas of colonialism and unfortunately you know i think you have an grizzle a government that is all the so on that let's put it that way and european sides of sickness you know legs. these 2 points out was a letter that in fact quoting here is him isn't the one actually the tree and the roots and it's an inspiration it is more than easy and the indian arad's actually is not only in his book intimate any actually sees that mundanity east the liberal side of colonialism that colonialism is the military wing so colonizing broccoli or byron as but there was also something going on which was that it was including you look at mission everywhere ok how to become what or how to have these a yeah or been an individual which was not even then europe to start with so you
find the idea is also not going to is improvement anything but that it was impossible for humanity to be said to operate and i get that point of the argument the reference that a premier drew from. me and there's a in and you have a lot of time ago in his book properly simply entered modernity in africa have you that in fact proud to call him here isn't that in a way after you can really just because you actually were already becoming modern who actually were trying to do those things that will use him if i don't call him there is indeed was to satisfy those people so as much of it was later already in the west i've got for instance it daily bridge that tend to become more than africans from iceland out of course but africa is one of the phone but it can get i mean it's not just. before you jump in there before you jump in because i want to give you something i want to give you something priya because our community i would say agrees with most of you on this point but there are
a few people who raise the calendar argument so i want to pose this to you this 1st person says as we discuss this legacy of colonialism please consider voices from ethiopia and liberia i was shocked to my at the opie and powell wish to they were also colonized to benefit from the infrastructure that the british did after she stepped foot in nairobi so that's one person's perspective here's another this person here and example is really interesting because in fact a lot of anti colonialists organized around the invasion of ethiopia in $835.00 ethiopia is very beloved in a kind of pan african context because it was the only non colonized african nation and had no selassie stood up to the european powers and ethiopian independence and with europeans very zealous guarding off its independence in spite of anti colonial struggles across the world i think it's a it's a really kind of factual so idea that you need at colonialism in order to bring
infrastructure and development i mean if you want if you you know if you think that it's following to have massive amounts of land expropriation as kenya. and massive amounts of bloodshed and explore exploitation in order to get a couple of airports and railway is that seems like an extraordinary price to have to pay as our king was saying a few minutes ago there were tendencies and lots of cultures to head in in good directions in interesting directions and all of those possibilities have now been lost to us and we all believe this notion that only through your up could we have arrived at good things how do we know what was lost how do we know what where the world might have gone where ethiopia might have gone without the intervention of europe in the form of the italian invasion and subsequent. you know it was prayed like many parts of the world were 2 european influence i like that you raise how
will we know how how would we know of course because in hindsight who knows but i wanted to share this because you saw this on your screen just a minute ago so i want to share this because it's another person with that perspective that guy says colonialism brought a lot of development in the colonies the white man should have stayed for 100 years more in the colonies for instance in 24 years the black man has been in charge in south africa it's been full of corruption and it is you'll get another form. of people online believe this but i would love to hear your response what would you tell them you're a professor how would you then educate them. well i mean i think one thing to say is this that could only alyson relied on corruption it relied on local elites in india it relied on local elites in parts of africa and what has happened and c.l.r. james the great caribbean writer explains this that what happened is that when england or france or belgium pulled out of asian african countries it's those
collaborating corrupt elites who ended up taking over and colonialism didn't just disappear i mean you know. all of former colonial powers continue to have huge stakes in. their in their former colonies and neo colonialism is something that we haven't talked about very much the ways in which you can only listen continue and in certain ways with the help of local elites so you know talking about white men and black man i mean 1st of all that is outright racist but also it's just it bears no resemblance to how history actually operated and it seems to me extraordinary that people can talk still in racial terms as though the white man was somehow magically equipped to to make the world has a lot less and what is the argument here as a matter of class of africans of routinely. it capitalist system very exploitative system it meant mom was the president of south africa not what the media now
yesterday said in certain book after 2001 when the american as aggressive he was an investor or an actually board member of one of the mining companies so look what is written matter when it's capitalism as a matter of our of. what i look or it's the function of of capitalism it's absolute nonsense present that that's going on south africa is going on energy or is going to mean india because i want to go to chile in because this is really important i actually want to go to the job that you do as a teacher because you are looking at. education system in portugal and looking at how colonialism has been taught and wanting to shape the operable bit i feel that would be a good place for us to wrap up our conversation in how do you teach colonialism to a country to a nation that used to have colonies. well that said in a bigger issue actually it's a big show right now because we are on the we were on the last 3 years on the
process of changing the curricula and trying to make it more open to these kind of these questions instead of having more closed narratives and the measure of the fact is that i don't think it's an issue with these 3 teachers because i think most of them are actually quite well prepared to. teach indies a new way let's say but there is a large part of the society and a lot of people from my age and older and from $45.00 to let's say 70 and plus that were taught a certain tailless that's never a t.v. and for them it's really really very difficult to suddenly to come to terms with the faked deaths and they reacted to them. come to terms with the fact that colonialism other negli face and for most of them actually they refuse it.
plainly and what and they just go into the defensive and say we haven't done anything good we haven't left anything that so all the portuguese. colonial history is just a nice story of mexico's and slavery. and suffering no no no because and then they come they say you know we need to fight these we need to fight back but the reality is that i think. the just the fact that this discussion is in the open is a very good thing because let's say that until 15 years ago we wouldn't even discuss these issues one never did was there and we wouldn't even think of it. and we would just consider that's not all of a subtle turn of history might have had a heart to avoid talking about it have to talk about it at some point how can you help us talk about it today scott how sort of soft rule interesting stuff kathy i'll end with this tweet from. someone who explains why we should learn about it reno says learning about colonialism through reading research and life experience
has helped shaped my curiosity about the world my constant striving for knowledge on the origins of wealth inequality and power thank you to priya to akon to add also to make l. for discussing colonialism such a huge topic but we managed to drill it down and really give some excellent examples we continue with our conversation on tuesday as we continue with our special week of shows on colonialism could the pain and trauma of colonialism be genetically inherited where look at the debate among scientists thanks for watching and i will see you on the i.
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