colonialism









Dady Chery writes at CounterPunch: “Les intellectuels ont toujours été des courtisans. Ils ont toujours vécu dans le palais.” “Intellectuals have always been courtesans. They have always lived in the palace.” –…


“Five centuries of European colonialism and global culture-trashing, and the remaking of the world in the economic interests of competing empires, cannot be undone by a single institution and a cluster of…








Happy Fourth of July! Native American Netroots provides some perspective on the meaning of ‘America’: America was named on April 25, 1507 after the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci made at least two voyages…


Via the Guardian: Today the Foreign Office has made public the first batch of thousands of “lost” colonial-era files believed to have been destroyed. The documents were secretly sent back to the…


e43f4780a2fc991162bdbf3b2661bdfee1faac7fFrom an exhibition by Raqs Media Collective at London’s Frith Street Gallery, which puts forth that modern biometric identification was invented by a British colonial official in 1858:

Untold Intimacy of Digits is an facsimile of the handprint of a Bengal Peasant, Raj Konai. The handprint was taken under the orders of William Herschel – scientist, statistician and at the time a revenue official with the Bengal government.

It is one of the earliest impressions of the human body taken by a person in power with the explicit purpose of using the trace to identify and verify a human subject.

It was taken in lieu of a signature, to affix the identity of Konai to a document. It was felt, at the time, that subaltern subjects were way too slippery when it came to the presentation of their identities to the authorities.