Yesterday I attended a workshop led by Sandew Hira from the International Institute for Scientific Research in the Netherlands and hosted by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.
Hira spoke eloquently of the destructive legacy of European colonialism which remains an open wound in much of Africa, Asia and South America, as well as in Europe, especially among those of ethnic minorities.
Although 'decolonization' has begun to impact politics, economics and international relations, Hira insists there is still one dimension of colonialism that has survived, namely, mental or psychological colonialism.
"Mental colonialism created a narrative of race relations that still dominates the discourse in western media: the supposed superiority of western culture and the supposed inferiority of non-western cultures.
This narrative has changed in the course of four centuries of colonialism, but is its basic assumptions are widespread in the educational system and the discourse in the media. It is there in the mind of both the former colonizer and the colonized. Decolonizing the mind means changing the mindset of both groups."
Through a combination of lectures, discussion and light hearted debate, Hira encouraged a young and articulate audience (I must have been the oldest present) to develop a more assertive decolonial attitude and contribute to a more just, less racist and homogeneous society in Britain.
For more information on the workshop see here
An article by Sandew Hira The Indian Diaspora in Holland