Event Alert: Decolonising the Mind, 29 – 30 September

Event Alert: Decolonising the Mind, 29 – 30 September

Mr. Sandew Hira is from the International Institute for Scientific Research in the Netherlands. He is a leading critic of the new colonial discourse and the legacy of colonialism.


The legacy of colonialism is an open wound in present-day western society that has different names: racism, islamophobia, white supremacy, extreme right etc.

Despite the gains won by decolonization in the sphere of politics, economics and international relations there is still one dimension of colonialism that has survived the process of decolonization in the fifties and sixties of the last century, that is the dimension of mental colonialism.

Mental colonialism created a narrative of race relations that still dominates the discourse in western media: the supposed superiority of western culture and the supposed inferiority of non-western cultures.

This narrative has changed in the course of four centuries of colonialism, but is its basic assumptions are widespread in the educational system and the discourse in the media. It is there in the mind of both the former colonizer and the colonized. Decolonizing the mind means changing the mindset of both groups.

Target of the course

The course Decolonizing the Mind has the following targets:

  1. Knowledge dissemination: To present new decolonized knowledge on colonialism and its legacy. The student gets an integrated view on five dimensions of colonialism: geographical, economic, political, social and mental. The student gets to know the dominant propositions by scholars from the current of scientific colonialism and their arguments. The critique of these propositions and arguments are presented from the point of view of DTM and an alternative framework is presented to understand the legacy of colonialism in present day society.
  1. Developing an assertive decolonial attitude. DTM is not only a matter of consuming new knowledge. It is an attitude that is firmly grounded in the belief that the dominant authority of knowledge (science, government, education, and media) and its policy implications can and should be challenged with sound counterpropositions and arguments. The course aims to build such an attitude.
  1. Mastering the tools of debate and discussion for DTM. Knowledge and attitude might not be enough to decolonize the mind. The main instruments of DTM are discussions and debates. The course trains student in discussion and debate both in term of content as well as form, presentation and attitude. DTM is a struggle. Training in discussion and debate is training in the art of intellectual struggle.

The Course aims to equip you to:

  1. Disseminate Knowledge

  2. Develop an assertive decolonial attitude.

  3. Master the tools of debate and discussion of DTM


29 and 30 September 2012


IHRC office, 202 Preston Road, Wembley HA9 8PA 

Fees (include Course Materials)

The cost of the course is £40. Buy your ticket by calling us on 020 8904 4222

(A concessionary rate is available to OAP’s, Students, the unwaged and regular IHRC supporters)

Information and registration

To sign up for the course, please email events@ihrc.org, call 0208 904 4222.

Decolonizing the Mind – Course Programme

Saturday September 29th 




Personal introduction: who is who in the course (name, activities)

Topics and line of the course


Lecture: Short history of colonialism and the legacy in the multicultural society

  • Phases in the historical development of colonialism in the world
  • The first European genocide in the America’s (indigenous people) and its legacy: the debate between Las Casas and Sepulveda and its aftermath: theological, scientific and cultural racism




Lecture: Mental colonialism and knowledge production

  • The production of knowledge:
  • The structure of colonial and decolonial arguments: themes, logic and facts
  • The taboo’s of colonial arguments: the discussion on reparation, Nazism, Jewish holocaust, racism
  • The social dimension of knowledge production: white authority and the role of Uncle Tom and the House Negro
  • The political dimension of knowledge production: intellectual critique and political struggle
  • The case of the second European genocide: the transatlantic slavery
  • The arguments about the rise of the transatlantic slavery: the role of Arabs, the role of Africans, the numbers game
  • The arguments about abolition of slavery and European civilization
  • The  legacy of the transatlantic slavery in nowadays Europe




  • The role of education in brainwashing
  • How to develop a critique of colonial arguments: theme’s, taboo’s, logic and facts
  • How to organise decolonial knowledge production: the role of individuals, organizations and the internet
  • The type of podia for debate and discussion: public, media, private
  • Preparing for debate and discussion
  • The question of attitude






Preparation for debate (in the afternoon session): training for discussion and debate. Selection of topics, proposition, discussion and debating groups




  • The preparation for decolonial arguments in public gatherings
  • The role as debater
  • The role as participant in the audience


Tea break


Session 3: training for media discussion: print, radio, television


Evaluation and conclusion

Sunday September 30th




Lessons from the struggle of Afro Americans in the USA

  • Comparison of slavery in the USA and the Caribbean
  • Race and the American civil war
  • Frederick Douglas and Reconstruction
  • The rise of US imperialism and the introduction of apartheid (segregation)
  • The question of organization, political strategy and its results
  • Booker T. Washington
  • W.E.B. du Bois
  • Marcus Garvey
  • The civil rights movement, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X
  • The lessons for Europe




Lecture: The development of multicultural societies in Europe

  • The Second World War and the initial forces behind immigration
  • Decolonization and migration from the former colonies to Europe
  • The concept of ethnic identity and the rise of ethnic community
  • The differences and similarities between Europe and America with regard to the multicultural society




Lecture: Globalization, the rise of the rest and the fall of the west

  • The forces behind and relationship between decolonization and globalization (the five dimensions)
  • The role of extreme right in Europe and the comparison with the rise of fascism and Nazism
  • The relationship between islamophobia, racism, extreme right and the awakening of the colonial beast
  • Prospects for the future




Preparation for discussion on program and organization: issues involved in developing a program for action and the problem of organization




  • How to develop a program of action: questions of strategy and tactics


  • What kind of organizations to build in Europe: questions of strategy and tactics


Tea break


  • Evaluation


  • Follow-up

Download the course programme here

Help us reach more people and raise more awareness by sharing this page