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Call for Papers südostasien (3/24): Colonial continuities

Kotan Intan Bridge, Jakarta
A reminder of the Dutch colonial era in the middle of Jakarta: The Kota Intan Bridge is the oldest bridge in Indonesia. © Christina Schott

We are looking for authors and interview partners. Do you have any suggestions or ideas? We look forward to your contributions!

The term colonialism originates from the Latin verb colere, which means "to settle, populate, to cultivate". These verbs already reflect the basic colonial assumption that the occupied colonies were previously uninhabited or uncivilized. The colonial rulers took it as a fact, that the affected regions and their inhabitants had only acquired culture and historical significance through them.

Most of the formerly colonized states gained national sovereignty after the Second World War, or at the latest in the 1960s. The consequences of centuries of foreign rule still have an impact today. Economic and military dependencies on former colonial powers continue to shape the policies of many states in the Global South, including in Southeast Asia. In many cases, the laws of former colonies are still based on the regulations of the former occupying power, as are health and education systems.

In Europe and other Western countries, the colonial power relations and exploitation mechanisms of earlier centuries were - and still are - an important prerequisite for the development of modern life, characterized by capitalism and globalization. Climate change, as a result of the exploitation of nature, is just as much a part of this development as racism and social inequality.

However, the countries of the Global South are increasingly demanding that decisions should be made on an equal footing. This can be seen in new alliances of states and in power shifts at a global level. Countries of the Global South also expect reparations for human rights violations and social trauma, many of which the former occupying powers have still not acknowledged.

In order to overcome the persistent imbalance between former colonial powers and the regions they oppressed, Western countries should gain a better understanding of how European colonialism still affects the oppressed countries and their inhabitants today.

Issue 3/2024 of südostasien aims to address the following questions:

• In which ways is the influence of the colonial era still evident in politics, society and economy in Southeast Asian states? To what extent are colonial power structures being perpetuated, e.g. by suppressing minorities in favor of exploiting their land?

• What colonial continuities are evident in economic or military dependencies on major powers such as the USA or China? What role does the export of unprocessed raw materials to industrialized countries play? To what extent is agriculture still affected by colonial continuities today? How are climate justice and colonialism connected?

• What efforts are being made in affected countries to free themselves from these toxic relations – for example through South-South alliances or self-sufficient economic systems? How are activist groups – calling for climate justice and decolonization – are organizing themselves and mobilize for support?

• Are colonial ways of thinking also emerging in development aid?

• Which values and conceptions of history are taught in schools and universities in Southeast Asia today? Which cultures dominate in museums, films, literature and art? What places do local perceptions of history and local cultures occupy? Is there a reappraisal?

• How have religious missionaries shaped and changed the cultures? Which religions continue to exist and how have they changed?

• Where do conflicts still exist between cultures? Where have synergies formed? Where have cultural elements mixed?

We welcome text proposals in various formats: portraits of protagonists, commentaries, features, background reports, analyses, interviews, photo essays and reviews of films, music or books. We are looking for contributions that deal with individual aspects mentioned above in an exemplary manner, as well as overview articles on structural issues and contexts. Innovative approaches and surprising perspectives are particularly welcome.


The deadline for the full text is September 1st, 2024. In individual cases, and after prior consultation with the editorial team, a slightly later deadline can be agreed on. Please send us a short proposal in advance (max. 1000 characters). We are looking forward to your ideas!

Contact the editorial team:

Monika Schlicher: monika.schlicher(at)asienhaus.de

Christina Schott: schott(at)weltreporter.net

Laura Faludi: dzsuangszi(at)gmail.com

Lydia Bucher: lydia.bucher(at)uni-jena.de

Sonja Mohr: Mohr_Sonja(at)gmx.de

Marina Wetzlmaier: marina.wetzlmaier(at)gmx.at

Gudrun Ingratubun: gudrun(at)l-y-w.art

Maria Nelden Gericke: neldendgericke(at)gmail.com

Katja Hanke (Rezensionen): soa_rezensionen(at)asienhaus.de

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