2018 Edition

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “DECOLONIZE”? Democracy and the Others of Europe

9th Annual Decolonial Summer School
19th June 2017 – 5th July 2018 (2.5 weeks)
University College Roosevelt (Middelburg, The Netherlands)

The Middelburg Decolonial Summer School, in its ninth year, will continue to explore ‘What does it mean to decolonize?’ and will focus on the ‘Others of Europe‘. We will walk around praxis of living in harmony and plenitude that call the universality of western democracy and its Eurocentric legacy into question.
By Others of Europe we understand both the other Europes inside, silenced and shattered by the narratives of modernity (Roma, Gitanos, Gaelic, African Diaspora, Suomi, immigrants,…) as well as the others of Europe outside  (first nations and indigenous from Africa, the Americas and Asia). The others of Europe is also the non-Eurocentered Europe within European territories, as well as the critique of Eurocentrism in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Eurocentrism is not a geographic but a complex set and flows of believes, knowledges and affects (sensing) still orienting the life of billions of people.
By Democracy we understand both the Eurocentered name and vision of living together in harmony and the pretext to impose European vision of governance to the rest of the planet. Therefore we do not take democracy for granted as we confront it with the Euro-US un-democratic politics towards the other Europe and the others of Europe. What “decolonizing democracy” may mean will be explored in relation to the double trajectory of the Others of Europe: its internal and external subjugated people’s.
The resurgence of Ubuntu in Africa, of Sumak Kawsay in South America, of He in China, of Ummah in Islamic communities allows us to think that pluriversal visions of governmentality and of conviviality are possible.  The first decolonial step to move towards pluriversality is to decenter and humble the Eurocentric universal rhetoric of democracy in order to liberate alternative praxis of living in harmony.
Could we envision communal and global orders predicated in pluriversality rather than in universality?  Could we think beyond the categories of Western civilization learning from non-European cultures, civilizations and traditions that the rhetoric of modernity silenced, disavowed and deligitimized? Can we envision praxis of living that allow for co-existing alternatives?


Mignolo Walter (Argentina) | Jean Casimir (Haiti) Maria Lugones (Argentina/US)| Gloria Wekker (The Netherlands/Suriname)| Fabian Barba (Ecuador)| Manuela Boatcă (Rumania/Germany) | Teresa María Díaz Nerio (Domenican Republic / The Netherlands) | Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark)| Rosalba Icaza (Mexico/ The Netherlands)| Patricia Kaersenhout (The Netherlands/Suriname) | Alanna Lockward (Dominican Republic/ Germany) | Ovidiu Tichindeleanu (Rumania) | Madina Tlostanova (Russia/Sweden) | Rolando Vázquez (Mexico/The Netherlands)