Postcolonial perspectives from the Global South

with contributions from South America, South Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia



The legacies of Colonialism are far-reaching and long lasting. Scholars and historians have noted that many of today‘s conflicts are the direct result of colonialism; processes of decolonization did not end with the withdrawal of empires from occupied territories and the creation of new nation states.

The recent academic discipline of Postcolonial Studies has revealed the limits of the political ‘decolonization‘ process by highlighting the persistence or reproduction of Western systems of knowledge, which often marginalise the non-Western world. In particular, Postcolonial Studies has questioned the basic assumptions of modernity, including ideas of progress and development, while encouraging the search for non-Eurocentric, non-corporate and more social ethics.

Although calls to facilitate more South-South exchanges between previously colonized countries go back to the Konferensi Asia-Afrika (1955) there is still much that could be done. Facilitating dialogue in the cultural field between actors from different Global South contexts is essential for more intellectual and artistic cooperation. This applies especially for Southeast Asia where Postcolonial discourse seems to be less developed than in other regions.

The public forum “Postcolonial Perspectives from the Global South” brings together curators, sociologists and historians from South America, Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. They will explore the various trajectories of modernity as understood and experienced from a range of philosophical, cultural, and historical perspectives. The presentations will not only examine Eurocentric claims of universality but also look in-depth at perspectives that focus on global particularism and cultural relativism.


  • Chua Beng Huat (Professor of Sociology, National University of Singapore)
  • Andi Achdian (Lecturer, Managing Editor of Journal Sejarah, Indonesia)
  • Hilmar Farid (Historian, Indonesia)
  • Bambang Harymurti (Former Chief Executive Officer of Tempo, Indonesia)
  • Divya Dwivedi (Philosopher, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India)
  • Simon Soon (Art Historian and Senior Lecturer at University of Malaya, Malaysia)
  • Manneke Budiman (Vice Dean for Education, Research and Student Affairs of Faculty of Humanities, Universitas Indonesia)
  • Kwartarini Wahyu Yuniarti (Professor in Clinical Psychology, researching Cross Cultural and Indigenous Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
  • Gabi Ngcobo (Curator, Lecturer in Wits School of Arts, University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa)
  • Brigitta Isabella (Researcher at KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Indonesia)
  • Grace Samboh (Curator, Indonesia)
  • Philippe Pirotte (Art Historian, Curator, Dean of the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule, Director of Portikus, Germany)
  • Laymert Garcia dos Santos (Essayist, Brazil)
  • Ayu Utami (Writer, Indonesia)
  • Marco Kusumawijaya (Co-founder of Rujak Center, Indonesia)
  • Melani Budianta (Professor of Literature at Universitas Indonesia)


24 January 2019 (2–6 p.m.) and
25 January 2019 (9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.)

GoetheHaus at Goethe-Institut Indonesien,
Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 9–15, Menteng, Jakarta

For detailed program and full list of speakers:

About Grace Samboh

Believes in unicorn, conviviality and the struggle towards collective subjectivities—even temporarily.
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