By Alemu Tesfaye and Truphena Mukuna
What is the relationship between coloniality, forced displacement and knowledge production? How is this relevant to decolonization efforts?
The history of forced displacement can be traced back to the colonial era, during which European powers established colonies in various parts of the world, displacing and often subjugating indigenous populations. The displacement of indigenous peoples often involved the forced removal from their ancestral lands and the disruption of their social and cultural systems.
In this context, knowledge production was used to justify and legitimize the displacement of indigenous populations. European colonizers created and disseminated knowledge that portrayed indigenous peoples as “primitive” or “uncivilized,” and therefore in need of “civilizing” through the imposition of European values and systems. This knowledge served to legitimize colonial policies of forced displacement and cultural assimilation.