Journal article Open Access

The Postcolonial and the Postsocialist: A Deferred Coalition?

Tlostanova, Madina

The article addresses the reasons for the asymmetrical relations that have emerged between the postcolonial and the postsocialist researchers and sensibilities. The author argues that this asymmetry should be seen as a deferred but potentially possible coalition whose realization is prevented by the contrapuntal temporal-spatial co-positionality of the two discourses. The article tackles the more pronounced interest of the postsocialist scholars and activists in the postcolonial paradigm and the relative lack of a reciprocal interest on the part of their postcolonial peers who refuse to see any affinities between these two human conditions. Among the reasons discussed in the article the most important are the successful Soviet internationalist rhetoric hiding the colonialist logic,  the propagandistic representation of the soviet empire as a decolonizing state, the nostalgia of the global south for the unrealized socialist ideals, the crucial differences in the interpretations of race, etc. At the same time, the readiness of the postsocialist people to appropriate the postcolonial discourse to describe their own situation, is analyzed in the article as highly politically, ideologically and ethically suspicious stemming from the more general tendencies and configurations of the global modernity/coloniality and its racial matrix. The article concludes with an effort to trace the possible trajectories of the future deep coalitions of the postcolonial and postsocialist discourses, scholars and sensibilities.    

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