Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mau Mau and British Colonial Violence

Despite attempts to rehabilitate British colonialism in the age of American neo-imperialism, history refuses to exonerate "liberal empire" in Africa as it will condemn equally the US's invasion and occupation of Iraq. Radio Bandung explores the violent history of "decolonization" in Kenya where British authorities and colonial settlers waged a brutal war against the so-called "Mau Mau". While the "Mau Mau" are synonymous with violent terror in Anglophone popular culture, in fact British officials mercilessly detained, tortured and killed thousands of Kikuyu demanding "Land and Freedom" and an end to British colonialism. Prof. Caroline Elkins of Harvard University (http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~history/facultyPage.cgi?id=39) catalogues this horrific history and discusses her important book, which has been a lightning rod for right-wing criticism particularly in Britain, "Imperial Reckoning: the Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya." We discuss the reception of the book and its resonances with contemporary debates about imperialism.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Haiti and Post-Colonial Culture

The true beginning of third world liberation and postcolonial history came perhaps with the Haitian Revolution, the founding of the first free black republic and the first new world state to abolish slavery. Enlightenment values in the Caribbean, the first real test to the "universal" doctrines of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" and, especially, "Liberte, Egalite, et Fraternite!" The Spirit of Bandung lived among the "Black Jacobins"! What is the importance of the Haitian Revolution for later struggles for liberation in the Caribbean, in Africa under colonialism? How has the subsequent history of Haiti also tragically typified the challenges of postcolonial national movements elsewhere? Dr. Chris Bongie of Queen's English department, foremost scholar of Haiti in literature and Caribbean post-colonial culture generally, talks with Radio Bandung about the great revolution; its effect on the Caribbean and postcolonial literature, culture, and history; and the way it is remembered in culture.


Monday, November 27, 2006

"The Hub of the Dub!"

In the words of poet and master of ceremonies extraordinaire, Clifton Joseph, Kingston Ontario (yes, our Kingston!) was "The Hub of the Dub" during last weekend's amazing Dub Poetry Festival (http://dubpoetscollective.com/). "Reloading the Can(n)on," taken from Dub maestro Klyde Broox's poem of the same title, the festival transformed Kingston into Jamaica briefly over the course of three days of performance, cultural jamming, and scholarly sessions. Radio Bandung reflects on the event, the debates, and the radical poetics on offer. In addition, we speak with Dr. Afua Cooper, this year's Robert Sutherland speaker, Governor General award nominated historian, and dub poetess on the subjects of race, history, and art. Check out her various books and collections of poetry: http://www.afuacooper.com/home_page.html

Radio Bandung is the permanent on-air hub of the dub!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Radio Bandung follows fast on the heels of last week's tour through the underground radical history of Montreal's revolutionary 60's, where, according to our guest Sean Mills, activists remember the very day "Wretched of the Earth" hit Francophone streets. This week we continue our series of revisiting classic texts and debates of the Bandung age of anti-colonial and anti-racism struggles. What is Frantz Fanon's legacy as poetic spirit and theoretician of national liberation in colonial empire? How and why has his analysis of colonialism been seen and reframed, particularly today in the new age of "terror", only as a legitimation of violence as revolutionary transformation? How did he imagine both the possibilities and pitfalls of "national consciousness"? We take up the question of Fanon's career and its importance and relevance for political struggle in the postcolonial world with David Austin, who just completed a radio documentary on Fanon for CBC's "Ideas" program: http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/frantz-fanon/index.html

Is it not still a question of the world starting a new history of humankind, a history which will have regard to the sometimes prodigious theses which Europe has put forward, but which will also not forget Europe's crimes...?!

Decolonizing Canada: The Not So Quiet Revolution

The first of a two part series on the radical 60's in Canada from a global perspective of decolonization and postcolonial history. Sean Mills, a doctoral candidate in the history department at Queen's, discusses his research on Montreal in the 60's. His narrative turns the "Quiet Revolution" around and talks about the radical movements and their reception of anticolonial thought, the emergence of Black Power in Montreal and the solidarities across race and "nation." What did it mean for Canada to emerge from the British Empire without a national liberation struggle? As Ian McKay mentioned a few weeks ago--Canada has had national struggles waged within its borders. Radio Bandung talks about one such "national" question and its colonial contradictions in Montreal's age of "decolonization".

Les Damnes de la terre quebecoise?!

This show aired Nov. 16.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New York, New York!

Scott Rutherford returns from his reconaissance of New York City and delivers a report on the cultural and intellectual scene. We discuss Scott's review of the controversial and nearly censored play "My Name is Rachel Corrie." He reacts to the narrowness of a conference on the revolutionary year of 1968 from purportedly global perspectives, while ignoring decolonization, black power, and transnational movements of solidarity in anti-colonial and anti-racism struggles. We remind ourselves of Martin Luther King's speech in 1967 at the venerable Riverside Church on New York's Upper West Side when he articulated not only an anti-Vietnam war position, but also one of solidarity with global and interconnected struggles against capitalism, colonialism and racism. Radio Bandung remembers radical non-violent struggle from MLK to Rachel Corrie.

Animals and Postcolonial Speciesism

Radio Bandung trangresses the Animal-Human divide to explore the connections between colonial racism and postcolonial speciesism. With a founder of the field of postcolonial literature, Dr. Helen Tiffin, we range across the politics and poetics of pets, factory food, meat and murder. We discuss the Fanonian rage of elephants, discourses of rights and ethics, and the animal-human relationship as it has developed in the last couple of centuries.

Dr. Tiffin is a Canada Research Chair in the English Department at Queen's University, the author of scores of important articles and books, including "The Empire Strikes Back", and currently is writing on animals and environmment in postcolonial studies. (http://www.queensu.ca/english/tiffin.html)

This show aired Nov. 2, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fear of a Muslim Planet?!

Radio Bandung confronts anti-Muslim sentiment and Islamophobia as it has been manifesting itself in contemporary political and cultural developments. What are its causes and consequences? We will examine a range of topics from debates over Muslim women and the hijab, the wave of oppressive "security" laws being enacted and renewed, the Kulturkampf over the Danish cartoons and the Pope's remarks, anti-immigration discourses and the fear of "Eurabia" or a Muslim Europe, and the racism underlying the detaining and torturing of Muslims from Abu Ghraib to the Maher Arar case here in Canada. Fasten your seatbelts for a whirlwind tour through the fiery furnaces of our day's most controversial issues. Our Virgil through this Inferno is Dr. Ariel Salzmann from Queen's.


Unlike the blowhards of the major media punditocracy and the amateurs who pontificate on terrorism even in the Academy without the slightest knowledge, historical background, or languages of the Middle East and Islamic World, Dr. Salzmann combines expertise in the Middle East with an analysis of the long history of Europe's inner demons when it comes to religious difference and racial minorities.

Deus lo volt!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

From Picasso to Propaghandi

This week Radio Bandung's first ever "Variety Hour" looks at the way of art and music helps us negotiate the world around us. Listen up for Sayyida's interview with Don Maynard about his instillation which represents his interpretation of the Maher Arar debacle. The second half of the show has Tyler Shipley of the Consumer Goods joining us by phone to talk music, Left politics, and the difficulties of bringing those two identities together in a creative and meaningful way.