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Transcript of Homi Bhabha
"on-going colonial present" autobiographic text as a reference of postcolonial experience Bhabha: no binary opposition criticizes Said's dualistic model of construction of the relation colonizer-colonized creates reality dominance of the powerful subordinate people
in the postcolonial context the Others become objects produces stereotypes the Other becomes tangible and apparently comprehensible transmission of suppressed
desires and fetishes "The fetish or stereotype gives access to
an 'identity' which is predicated as much on mastery and pleasure as it is on anxiety and defence, for it is a form of multiple and contradictory belief in its recognition of difference and disavowal of it. This conflict of pleasure/unpleasure, mastery/defence, knowledge/desavowal, absence/presence, has a fundamental significance for colonial discourse. "The black is both savage (cannibal) and yet the most obedient and dignified of servants (the bearer of food); he is the embodiment of rampant sexuality and yet innocent as a child; he is mystical, primitive, simple-minded and yet the most worldly and accomplished liar, and manipulator of social forces." "...strategic and selective appropriation of signification, creating a space for actors, whose freedom and equality is endangered."
Homi Bhabha, interview ORF contact zone space for negotiation reconstitution of significance process of continuous hybridity Cultural Diversity vs. Cultural Difference Cultural Diversity artificial boundaries fixes communities as entities promotes the hegemony of cultures Cultural Difference focus on construction recognizes contradictions contact of cultures at their liminalities Cultural Translation every description includes a translation one form: mimicry "Meaning is constructed across the bar of difference and separation between the signifier and the signified. So it follows that no culture is full unto itself, no culture is plainly plenitudinous, not only because there are other cultures which contradict its authority, but also because its own symbol-forming activity (…) underscores the claim to an originary (...) identity.” (Rutherford 1990) Criticism stereotypes <-> fetish neglecting conventional forms of resistance affirms the privileged position of postcolonial intellectuals uncritical transference of psychoanalytical theories no reference to gender, class and material differences imitation of another identity notable difference remains ambivalent relation colonizer - colonized 1. colonial dominance 2. colonized undermining colonizer colonial desire
"colonial mimicry is the desire for a reformed, recognizable Other, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same,
but not quite." “Mimicry is also the sign of the inappropriate, however, a difference, or recalcitrance which coheres the dominant strategic function of colonial power, intensifies surveillance, and poses immanent threat to both 'normalized' knowledges and disciplinary powers” resistance to colonial rule Agency Third Space Mimicry negotiation ability to act Agency Performativity vs. Pedagogy daily lived actions Modernity of the nation pedagogical performative history transnational
hybridity agency agency interstices Frantz Fanon concept of mimicry Edward Said dynamic relation The Location of Culture, p.75 The Location of Culture, p.82 The Location of Culture, p.86 The Location of Culture, p.86 Conclusion Influential & significant Ambivalence of power relation in the
colonial discourse Rejection of the concept of cultural diversity Questions? Thank you!