The 1955 Bandung conference has been the highlight of equal and direct interactions among Asia, Africa and Latin-America, even though their connections can be dated back before Western colonialism. In the time of the Covid-19 pandemic that demands a global change, how to envision different paths of developments and imagine futures determines our actions in the present. Bandungism as a decolonizing and re-centering “Third World” project lives beyond its historical moment of coinage and carries weight both on a symbolic and pragmatic level.
This inter-and-trans-disciplinary panel aims to bring researchers and activists to review the legacies of Bandungism, rethink and revive Africa-Asianism, and remap the world in the present. Critical reflections of disciplinary, categorical, theoretical and symbolic boundaries, such as area studies, postcolonial studies, global studies and etc. are all welcome. The presenters could concentrate on specific case studies or theoretical and epistemological interventions. The moments and afterlives of Bandung could be reviewed and retold from a particular perspective or field of activity that integrate and transcend nation-state oriented Bandungism to multiple Bandungisms that centers on people-to-people interactions. This includes but not limited to feminist Africa-Asian connections, art/activist practice, and media and popular cultural reuse of histories. The travels, translation and transformations of concepts and practices across time and space are also of importance to understand current global politics, such as the narratives of new Cold War, the racial question in different contexts and the definition of human and nonhuman, as a way to debate and diversify the meanings of Bandungism and complicate the romanticization of Africa-Asianism.
Presenters may deal with questions such as but not limited to:
- What is Bandungism? What does it mean for different disciplines and theories?
- Why should we discuss Bandungism again? What does it mean for the world now?
- What contexts and traveling paths of concepts have made Africa-Asian solidarity possible?
- What is the legacy of Bandung that should be critically reviewed and revived? What are the differences and similarities when it is examined from different positionalities?
- How should we assess it? With which tools and criteria? What does it mean for the present?
- How do we understand the power dynamics and imbalances within the Bandungism? What methods or approaches should one adopt when doing global studies from Bandungism?
- What are ignored or misjudged histories, figures and aspects in Africa-Asia interactions? What are the reasons for this invisibility?
- How should we revive, rethinking and facilitate Africa-Asia understanding and solidarity in the present?
Mingqing Yuan, China/Germany, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg