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Impressed Images/Expressed Experiences: The Historical Imagination Of Politics

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Chapter Summary

Colonial history has a major impact on the historical understanding of national communities. Making international comparisons is indeed important, but then the 'time frames' within which the comparison is being made should match. In this chapter, the author makes a dual comparison on present-day citizenship and the significance of colonial history and at the impact on these contemporary discussions, of early twentieth century conceptualisation processes concerning the nation as an imagined community. The author provides two examples with the Netherlands/Indonesia and with France/West- Africa. The first example (the 'Impressed Images') is about the literal impression of the colonial drive as a national drive with which people could identify from the standpoint of the Netherlands coloniser. The second (the 'Expressed Experiences') is about the symbolic expression of the actual participation of African colonial subjects in current French historical discourse.

Keywords: colonial history; expressed experiences; impressed images



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