The Decolonial Thinking and the Limits of Geographical Imagination

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Abstract

This paper examines the limits that the geographical imagination imposes on the emergence of an epistemology that challenges the logic of modernity/coloniality. Many of the analyses on alternative ways of thinking, being, and doing are still confined to a ‘colonizing’ spatial and temporal representation. This paper focuses on the decolonial option. My argument is that some projects end up reinforcing the dichotomous relationship between global and local or the modern and the subaltern (colonial) in its attempt to situate knowledge and experience geographically and historically. ‘Border thinking’ is insufficiently emancipatory if it does not consider the complexities of the relationship between spatiality, representation and power in order to de-essentialize human experience both in its temporality and spatiality. Decolonization requires unlearning the geographical imagination that allows the demarcation of the space between ‘self’ and ‘other’.
Original languageMultiple languages
Title of host publicationColóquio Internacional Epistemologias do Sul
Subtitle of host publicationaprendizagens globais Sul-Sul, Sul-Norte e Norte-Sul
EditorsBoaventura de Sousa Santos, Teresa Cunha
Place of PublicationCoimbra
PublisherUniversidade de Coimbra
Pages443-458
Number of pages16
Volume1 (Democratizing democracy)
ISBN (Electronic)989958405
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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