The 2017 RGS-IBG chair’s theme: decolonising geographical knowledges, or reproducing coloniality?
journal contributionposted on 20.06.2017 by James Esson, Patricia Noxolo, Richard Baxter, Patricia Daley, Margaret Byron
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The theme for the chair’s plenaries at the 2017 Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with the Institute of British Geographers (IBG) Annual Conference is ‘Decolonising geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world’. This commentary explains why this pursuit of critical consciousness via decolonial thinking could do more harm than good. We show how the emphasis on decolonising geographical knowledges rather than structures, institutions and praxis reproduces coloniality, because it recenteres non-Indigenous, white and otherwise privileged groups in the global architecture of knowledge production. It is argued that an effective decolonial movement within geography must recognise the intersectionality of indigeneity and race, and necessitates that the terms on which the discipline starts debates about decolonisation and decoloniality are determined by those racialized as Indigenous and non-white by coloniality.
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment