Homi Bhabha’s Third Space and Neocolonialism (Published)
This paper suggests the argument that Homi Bhabha’s Third Space, defined in his book The Location of Culture (1994) contributes to Neocolonialism in the sense that it stresses the fluidity of identity and the continuous engagement in ongoing negotiations and enunciations, which compromises the ability of former colonies to formulate their identity independently and to design their agendas for development. They are trapped within the project of Postcolonial Literature which imprisons them in the “us and them” paradigm and sets them the task of forever looking for Third Space and of engaging in continuous debates over identity formulation. On a larger scale, this paper argues, the notion of Third Space is at the heart of the World Trade Organization agreements and is the core of how Social Media Networks function. Hence, the paper views Postcolonial Literature, The World Trade Organization agreements, and Social Media Networks as being linked together through the notion of Third Space and, therefore, as being tools manipulated by Neocolonialism.
The paper investigates the description of East/West cultural relations in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Dilemma of a Ghost. Close analysis of the text proves that the hegemony of the English language and Western structures still manifest themselves in the twenty first century. Indeed, English is a tool used by Neocolonialism, seemingly to bring speakers of the language from all over the world closer. Reading a text in English inherently involves drawing upon the heritage received from the native speakers of the language. The superiority of English language and literature may, then, be taken for granted and may be part of the subconscious. Hence, the hegemony of the English language further reaffirms the existence of the state of colonialism in spite of the withdrawal of foreign armed forces and foreign government officials from traditional British colonies and protectorates.
After the Second World War, the imperialist trends of the eighteenth and nineteenth century began to decline. Through collective struggles, the Africans achieved independence from the whites. But though they attained freedom, they could not imagine the fact that it was just a treacherous exchange of power between the out-going masters and few of their faithful heirs. In the colonial period, the European rulers propagated that as the Africans had no culture and history of their own, it was their holy duty to civilize the native Africans. Thus, they regarded themselves superior to Africans whose culture they considered inferior, uncivilized, and savage. In the name of spreading civilization, they dominated, oppressed, tyrannized and persecuted the native Africans not only economically and politically, but also culturally. When the Europeans left, the Africans got political freedom, but the foul practice of imperialism did not end. It appeared in a new form namely neocolonialism which the scholars had branded as the worst form of imperialism. This camouflaged imperialist practice is turning Africa into a museum of acute poverty, hunger, corruption and famine. The paper aims at elucidating the effects of neocolonialism in Africa from four major perspectives– economic, political, cultural and literary.