Nelson Maldonado-Torres

To fallists and decolonialists in South Africa and everywhere

“We demand an end to the war against Black
people. Since this country’s inception there have
been named and unnamed wars on our
communities. We demand an end to the
criminalization, incarceration, and killing of our
people.” Movement for Black Lives, U.S.A.
« [T]he black pain of a post-apartheid betrayal of
black people is infinitely more painful and
dangerous than that of an age when no one had
promised any freedom to anyone…. As the Yanks
would say, “It is coloniality, stupid!” No need for a
doctorate to grasp this. Blackness should be
enough. » Itumeleng Mosala, former President of the
Azanian’s People Organization, South Africa
“Decolonisation is going to be a harder struggle
than anti-apartheid!” Roshila Nair, University of
Cape Town, South Africa1
“We must build the archive of Africanism and
decoloniality.” Masixole Mlandu2

Colonization and decolonization as well as coloniality and decoloniality are increasingly
becoming key terms for movements that challenge the predominant racial, sexist, homo- and
trans-phobic conservative, liberal, and neoliberal politics of today. While colonization was
supposed to be a matter of the past, more and more movements and independent intellectuals,
artists, and activists are identifying the presence of coloniality everywhere. The reason for this is
not difficult to ascertain: the globe is still going through the globalization and solidification, even
amidst various crisis, of a civilization system that has coloniality as its basis. Therefore, the
continued unfolding of Western modernity is also the reinforcement, through crude and vulgar
repetitions as well as more or less creative adjustments, of coloniality. This is reflected in
contemporary “development” policies, nation-state building practices, widespread forms of
policing, surveillance, and profiling, various forms of extractivism, the increasing concentration
of resources in the hands of the few, the rampant expression of hate and social phobias, and
liberal initiatives of inclusion, among other forms of social, economic, and political control.