WORLD ANTHROPOLOGICAL UNION

CONGRESS 2024​

SELECTED PANEL

( pn38 )

Resisting and or Assisting (De)coloniality? Women’s struggle, Feminism, Anti-feminism movements and the Paradox of “Debt” in Postcolonial Societies

Organizers

    Georges Eddy Lucien

    Haiti

    Université d'État d'Haiti

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

    Nnanna Onuoha Arukwe

    Nigeria

    University of Nigeria

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

    Magalie Civil

    Haiti

    University of Ottawa

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

    Misbahu Sa’idu

    Nigeria

    Federal University of Kashere

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

IUAES Affiliation: Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development

Keywords:

Coloniality/Decoloniality, Tensions, Repair and Recovery

Abstract:

Decolonisation, postcolonialism, post-postcolonialism and the decolonial shift are ready testaments of not only the shape-shifting nature of imperialism but also indicative of its ability to transmogrify and even take on the forms of its adversary to further its cause of divide-and-conquer. Examining this regenerative capacity of imperialism is important to understanding its continuing grip of, and assault on, popular imagination, particularly its (re)production of contradictory outcomes due to uncritical subscription in postcolonial societies. Here, we explore and analyse how empire replaces one formula for another – globally and its echoes locally – to mediate internal conflict and external struggle to undermine its power, scope, influence and control of its grip on popular imagination. This panel seeks to disinter this in gendered and binary discourses (i.e. ‘feminisation of poverty’, duality of debt, emasculation of men, etc.) that produces ‘forms’ and ‘anti-forms’ – “we” versus “them” – within (post)colonial frameworks and, in so doing, furnishing disarticulated front against regimes of oppression. In exploring this existential tension, this panel seeks to offer useful insights into the dynamism of empire as a continuing process of (re)regeneration and (re)construction of tensions to maintain benign influence beyond colonial (dis)continuities. First, this panel seeks to explore this existential tension between pre-colonial doing (ways) and (post)colonial undoing by examining the imagery of Haitian women as poto mitan is simultaneously a valiant, the pillar upon which the family and the national economy rest, and are prey upon as object of scorn, subjugation, exploitation and domination specific to patriarchy. Poto mitan, designated as a feminine principle of balance; it is the chief organising pillar of society towards whom the corpus of violence of imperialism cum patriarchy is directed. In addition, the panel will explore the gendered perspective of peace building efforts in Northeast Nigeria, detailing the dilemma of repair, restoration and reparation in a predominantly patriarchal society. It seeks to examine the unique challenge of repair in the aftermath of an insurgency which centres around opposition to western-style education, multiparty democracy, secular government, constitutionalism, and “man-made laws” (re)produces chaotic perception in, and of, self, agency and society. Additionally, the panel explores the mechanics of debt as a reconquest technique, drawing on three emergent themes in the “double debt” of independence of Haiti. Debt of compensation as the basis of French neo-colonization of Haiti; debt as a factor in reinforcing the country's repulsiveness; and finally, and debt as testimony to the insubordination of Haiti's elites to the former metropolis. These themes however abjure the lobbies of French bankers and domestic merchants, while eschewing their contradictory role, strategies and the economic and financial stakes involved in the development of the French financial and economic system in the early 19th century. The panel promises to be paradigm-shifting and empirically revealing, attracting researchers and practitioners interested in understanding post-captivity experiences of colonised people, and the nexus between traumas of subordination/subjugation, repair/recovery, and agency/liberation struggles in (counter)acting postcolonial subjectivities. This panel therefore invites papers bordering on, but not limited to, these tensions and their consequences decolonial praxis.