By Ana de Pereda Banda, Mary Pacheco, and Boe Tufele
Follow this link to listen to The Cataclysm of Colonized Cultures.
This podcast includes an analysis of the disruption of several colonized cultures in the period during and after colonization. It brings to light several takes on the subject, including the overarching notion that the colonizers viewed the colonized subject’s cultures as inferior to their own, often going as far as to demonize them. Several of the authors that are referenced explore how colonizers disrupted indigenous educational systems of the colonized subjects by forcing their religion to be practiced in school, or simply by replacing their school systems entirely. This in turn disrupted their own religious traditions. Furthermore, this podcast considers how colonization impacted the languages of colonized subjects, which were also integral parts of their pre-colonial cultures. Finally, we consider the meaning of culture as a whole and in broad terms. Culture is defined as the vivacity, meaning, and purpose that certain features and practices add to the everyday lives of indigenous people. With cultures eradicated through colonization, however, this podcast makes known that the way of life for colonized subjects was ultimately disrupted.
This podcast draws from Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, Brian Friel’s play Translations, and Jamaica Kincaid’s novella A Small Place. It also references academic research, such as Umar Abdurraham’s “Religion and Language in the Transformation of Education in Northern Nigeria during British Colonial Rule, 1900-1960,” Derek Peterson’s “Colonizing Language? Missionaries and Gikuyu Dictionaries, 1904 and 1914,” and Lubowa Hassan Tugume’s “Attitude of Christian Missionaries Towards African Traditional Religious Beliefs in East Africa during the British Colonial Rule.” Finally, this podcast incorporates ideas from postcolonial theory, including from Frantz Fanon’s “On National Culture” in The Wretched of the Earth, Homi K. Bahba’s “The Location of Culture,” and Edward Said’s, “Empire, Geography, and Culture.”
*This podcast’s featured image depicts the title of our podcast formatted after TED Radio Hour. The first image on the top left corner is a photograph Queen Elizabeth inspecting African soldiers in Rhodesia. The adjacent photograph shows Irish soldiers being forced to carry the British flag through Ireland. Below it is a Baile beag sketch.