Smash the Pillars: Decoloniality and the Imaginary of Color in the Dutch Kingdom


Smash the Pillars: Decoloniality and the Imaginary of Color in the Dutch Kingdom, edited by Melissa F. Weiner and Antonio Carmona Báez, was published by Lexington Books in June 2018.

Ramón Grosfoguel (University of California, Berkeley) calls it a tour de force in Decolonial Studies. He says, “The myth of Dutch tolerance is demolished. Dutch political complicity with racial/colonial domination is very well analyzed and made explicit in this book. A must to read!”

Nelson Maldonado-Torres (Rutgers University) writes: “For too long the Netherlands has been considered an innocent and benevolent country, without apparently a significant colonial past or a racist present. This volume not only completely shatters this illusion, but also demonstrates the significance of multiple contemporary efforts to critically engage and decolonize Dutch society, culture, and political life. The impressive theoretical breadth of the text makes it an essential one not only for Dutch and European Studies, but also for decolonial thinking, the study of social movements, the study of Caribbean and African diasporas, and for the critical engagement with race, racism, and other forms of dehumanization in the contemporary world. In short, this text places Dutch anti-racist and decolonial activism at the forefront of debates and scholarship on decoloniality today.”

Description: Smash the Pillars builds on the efforts by scholars and activists to decolonize Dutch history and memory, as they resist the epistemological violence imposed by the state, its institutions, and dominant narratives. Contributions offer an unparalleled glimpse into decolonial activism in the Dutch kingdom and provide us with a new lens to view contemporary decolonial efforts. The book argues that to fully decolonize Dutch society, the current social organization in the Kingdom of the Netherlands relying on separate pillars for each religious and/or racial group, must be dismantled.

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