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Open Access Beyond empire and nation

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Beyond empire and nation

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Chapter Summary

Decolonization, accompanied by the loss of colonial clout and sometimes as well by military and diplomatic defeat, set in motion a process at times characterized as wilful forgetting or selective memory. The most common word in the analyses of postcolonial memory in the metropolitan countries is 'silence'. In the newly-founded countries too, a kind of wilful forgetting was at work, sometimes voluntarily, sometimes encouraged by policy. Public representations in the postcolonial states tend to conceive of decolonization as a common struggle against foreign rule or as the consummation of a national destiny. The colonial heritage could not easily be discarded, as much of the changing lifestyles, cultural forms, and the language of modernity had entered under the cloak of colonialism. The Indonesian foreign minister Subandrio characterized the conflict between the colonial heritage and the new nationalism as ´two souls, two minds in one person´.

Keywords: decolonization; Indonesia; modernity



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