Source: Bandung of The North
Bourse du travail de Saint-Denis, France
From Friday, 4th to Sunday, 6th of May 2018
Declaration of the Bandung of the North
“This is the first intercontinental conference of coloured people… in the history of mankind… It is a new departure in the history of the world that leaders of Asian and African people can meet together … to discuss and deliberate upon matters of common concern. In spite of diversity that exists among its participants, let this conference be a great success. Yes, there is diversity among us. Who denies it? … What harm is there in diversity? .. This conference is not to oppose each other.”[i] With these words Indonesian president Sukarno opened an international conference entitled “Let a New Africa and Asia be Born” in the Indonesian city of Bandung in 1955. It was the first international meeting of head of states of countries in the Global South.
From May 5-6 2018 the Committee of the Bandung of the North will organize an international conference in Paris in the spirit of the 1955 Bandung conference. It will be the first international conference of coloured people that takes up the issues of people of colour who are living in the Global North to discuss matters of common concern.
The “Global North” refers to countries of Western Europe, North America and Oceania that colonized Africa, Asia and the Americas among themselves. Nowadays, large communities from the Global South live in their metropolis. Out of 800 millions living in these countries, an estimated 160 million are people of colour.
They confront racism in every sphere of life as a daily reminder of the continuation of the legacy of colonialism. Racism not only manifests itself in discriminations on the basis of skin colour but also on the basis of religion, origin and culture. Racism is rooted in economic, social, political and cultural institutions. Racism can also be found in health, housing and at work where people of colour systematically lagged behind white people. Racism is translated into social segregation. It is manifest in a political system that deprives people of colour of speaking their mind and impose a dominant narrative about terrorism that facilitates the rise of a police state and targets people of color. It is manifest in a culture that promotes the concept of the superiority of the West and the inferiority of the rest, enforces assimilation, and instrumentalizes diversity.
The communities of colour in the Global North present a diversity of historical experiences: indigenous genocide and land theft, trans-Atlantic enslavement and other forms of forced migration, current migration due to colonial wars and increased poverty and inequalities. In return, they have diversified social movements and offered their own narratives about their oppression and exploitation.
The Bandung of the North aims at proposing the idea of a Decolonial International who will seal a political alliance between decolonial movements in the West. This conference’s purpose iso build projects and tools for our struggles and resistances in order to face, first, the rise of supremacist nationalists and ultra-liberalism and, secondly, the pursuit of imperialist domination in all its forms.
The conference will have plenary session with four keynote speakers: Angela Davis, Fred Hampton JR, Ramon Grosfoguel and Eli Domota. Different workshops will explore different themes from the rise of the police state to the relationship between social movement from black, indigenous, Roma, Asian and Islamic communities.
The organizing committee of the conference is a joint venture of the Decolonial International Network and activists in France.
The website of DIN will carry the information about the conference: www.din.today.