Reclaiming ‘race’ in postcolonialism: A personal reflection on the politics of the racial experience

by Amal Abu-Bakare and edited by Xavia Warren  This past October, while reading Homi Bhabha’s The Location of Culture, I came across the following poetic verse: “I am standing here in your poem-unsatisfied.” (1994:xxi) Originating from Eastern War Time, a poem by the radical feminist Adrienne Rich, this verse was highlighted by the famous literary critic and… Read More

Apocalypse and precarity: Iranian online humor and Trump’s victory

by Sara Tafakori and Gilda Seddighi  ‘From the American people to Iranian social media users: if your expert opinions and discussions about the American election have ended, please do shut up for a moment and let us Americans work out what the heck we do now’. This tweet by a presenter of a diasporic Iranian… Read More

Martha Solomons: The slave’s daughter and Countess of Stamford who made my life possible

by Karen Williams The question from the Pakistani government minister was not unfamiliar to me: “And what are you, are you a Zulu?” It was my early days in Islamabad and the official’s gentle ribbing was a common question. Yet this time, I was speechless. Floundering, I grasped at half-sentences, well aware that people around… Read More

The Indonesian anti-colonial roots of Islam in South Africa

by Karen Williams The 17th century history of Indonesia and its anti-colonial figures brought Islam into the cultural life of South Africa, particularly for poor non-Muslims who lived together with Muslim communities. Growing up, I had a belief that Islam was the religion of freedom, without knowing why this was such a core belief of… Read More

Slave narratives from Dutch colonisation in Indonesia

by Karen Williams In 1657, five years after the start of Dutch colonialism in South Africa, an indigenous1 man, Doman, was sent to the Dutch “prize colony” of Batavia, present-day Jakarta. The Dutch colonisers who had landed in South Africa wanted to acquaint him with Dutch culture as well as help him to improve his… Read More

Invasion and Resistance: Aboriginal and Maori fighters take up arms against the British

by Karen Williams While little attention is paid to black and Asian prisoners transported during the colonisation of Australia, there is even less information about local Aboriginal people and the neighbouring Maori fighters who were exiled to or within Australia. Their exile happened as part of their wider experiences of organised resistance against colonisation and… Read More

Blackbirding: a story of forced labour in Australia

by Karen Williams  Sugar production is synonymous with forced labour and enslavement in the Caribbean and the Americas, and it is often associated with a high degree of exploitation. The production of the crop in Australia and the Pacific was no exception: and although it is not widely acknowledged, Australia’s sugar industry came about because… Read More

A queer history: South Africa’s KhoiKhoi in Australia

by Karen Williams The last man executed for sodomy in Australia in 1863 was an indigenous black South African soldier. He was one of hundreds of mainly African and Asian indigenous and enslaved people transported from Africa’s south and its surrounding islands to the new settlement in New South Wales and Tasmania. Also in Australia… Read More

Australia: Five men of African descent who have been forgotten from its history

Africa- of African descent: This article has changed the term “black” to “of African descent” after readers brought it to our attention that indigenous Australians refer to themselves as “black” within Australia. The modification was made to accommodate that information and to more accurately reflect the specific realities of Australia. Editorial note: The easy temptation… Read More