The aim of this site is to host a dialogue about decolonisation and its relationship to anthropology as an academic discipline. The curators of this site are a group of staff and students at Goldsmiths, University of London who, drawing from historic and contemporary discussions of decolonisation, have collectively begun to reimagine what we need to learn and unlearn to reimagine anthropology for the 21st century.  In an effort to de-centre academic anthropology, particularly as it is practiced, taught, and represented in the UK, we question established forms of knowledge production, traditional modes of communicating disciplinary insights, and normative teaching practices within the university. To do so, we host conversations with scholars within and outside the discipline, amplify student work that pushes the boundaries of normative anthropology, and feature scholarship that confronts colonial anthropology in the present.   

 

Much of what emerges in this site is inspired by the work that was initiated by Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA) and conversations held under the banner of decentering anthropology, an initiative in our department that began in late 2018 and ended in early 2019.  GARA and the decentering anthropology initiative pushed a collective of students and staff to begin to think through what needs to change in anthropology and the university, more broadly. Yet, the dialogue we facilitate here around decolonisation is far from new. Our initiative also owes a revolutionary debt to those who have fought on the ground for a transformation of relations from the colonial period to the present, in particular our elders who have joined, survived, and stayed within the discipline of anthropology in order to transform it. 

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We are indebted to Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA) for inspiring students and staff to initiate this project, towards rethinking how we might teach and learn anthropology. GARA is a POC-led campaign that, in 2019, formed under a 137 day long occupation of Deptford Town Hall to address racism within the university. The university is often thought of as a place to interrogate and challenge the colonial forms of power that penetrate our world system. However, the academy acts as a receptacle for imperial oppression to be stored. GARA recognises that unless there is an anti-colonial uprising which confronts these realities, the institution will continue to be uninhabitable for Black and Brown students, academic staff, cleaners, and security guards. GARA is an exemplary model of what change can occur from grassroots' efforts.