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    Afterword

    Rose, Jacqueline (2021) Afterword. In: Barnard-Naude, J. (ed.) Decolonising the Neoliberal University. Birkbeck Law Press, pp. 160-166. ISBN 9780367903725.

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    Abstract

    At the time of the student protests in South Africa, which is where this book begins, nobody was anticipating a global pandemic. Nor, I think, did anyone foresee that the crisis to follow would bring those protests so urgently back to the forefront of public consciousness. When African-American George Floyd was killed on the streets of Minneapolis in May 2020 by a white policeman who was filmed kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, Black Lives Matter took to the streets across the world. It was just one of many instances which put paid to the illusion – the split-second cherished belief – that the pandemic would be the great equaliser. Instead of which, the pre-existing racial and social fault-lines of the times, in their ugliest incarnation, were if anything being exposed more acutely than before. One of the most powerful moments following the killing was when UK protestors pulled down the statue of seventeenth-century slave-dealer Edward Colston, and dumped it in Bristol harbour. Colston’s wealth had played a key role in the prestige and prosperity which had allowed the city to flourish. By means of their act, the protestors were proclaiming that the legacy of slavery was unfinished; its tentacles still reached into the heartbeat, the embedded structures, the ongoing injustice of the modern world. The allusion to ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ was explicit. Weeks later, Oxford University students secured approval from the governors of Oriel College for the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes from the façade of the building. Two years before – modelling their protests on the South African example – they had failed to persuade them to do so. (The university has since refused to act on the governor’s decision.)

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Research Centres and Institutes: Humanities, Birkbeck Institute for the (BIH)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2022 13:19
    Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 13:04
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/49699

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