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Taking bearings from critical currents of thought in south Asia and black Africa and beyond, this paper discusses some of the differences in how postcolonialism is read from place to place in the light of local politics and culture.
The paper makes a case for a more “hands-on” politics, one that goes out into the world, for postcolonialism applied rather than left in the ether of high theory. So it is not simply about getting a better deal for Aboriginal people or asylum seekers and refugees but it is a matter of addressing the way our societies and the world order are constituted and working to change them for the better.
This paper was presented as part of Rethinking the Postcolonial in the Age of the War on Terror joint symposium, by the MnM Centre in conjunction with the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Diasporas and Reconciliation Studies, at the University of South Australia, on 16 and 17 September 2010. The aim of the symposium was to explore the postcolonial condition in the era of the 'war on terror' and to rethink postcolonialism in order to reformulate or reinforce its critical insights.