Diana M. Natermann (Sektionsleitung)

(Hi)Stories and Memories of the Global South: From the Invention of the “Third World” to 21st-Century Debates on Postcolonial Policies and Historical Reparation

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This panel analyses narratives on the so-called Global South produced during and after the Cold War by Latin American, African, Middle Eastern and European actors such as intellectuals, cultural institutions, political parties and policy makers. The speakers will show how several groups have been representing the Global South and how those representations have been shaping social and political identities and international politics. Topics discussed will deal with discourses and imaginaries about world order and their uses by varied actors in different contexts. For instance, the Third World concept will be analyzed from its creation in Europe in the early 1950s to its appropriations by the Latin American and North African lefts in the following decades. Next, focusing on the more recent event of the Iraq War, we will reflect on how the participation of the Global North in events on the Global South contributed to form a European narrative about its own identity and to outline continental politics and integration. Finally, as conceived identities raise the question of (re)framing and (re)writing about the Global South in various spaces, some contemporary museums and exhibitions will be addressed in order to identify historical changes of such representations both in the South and the North.

Overall, this panel wishes to discuss the above foci from an historical angle as well as by venturing across disciplines by including political sciences and art history. To do so, we will seek to establish intersectional links with the aim of offering a more inclusive view of global developments and enhancing the existence of historical patterns. This shall be achieved by highlighting mutual intellectual and social entanglements throughout the past ca. 120 years across select areas from three continents.

Eugenia Palieraki (Paris)
The "Third World": the Global Trajectory of a French-born Concept

In 1952, French demographer Alfred Sauvy coined the term ‘Third World’, a neologism that became a key category of post-war thought. This paper contends that we cannot fully grasp the concept’s global success without tracing it back to Sauvy’s initial conceptualisation. First, Sauvy gave the concept a hybrid political and scientific content, allowing both activists and social scientists to adopt the term. Second, Sauvy associated the ‘Third World’ with other key Cold War concepts (anticolonialism; underdevelopment; third way), which expressed contemporary concerns. This paper also seeks to shed light on a paradox: although Sauvy was a French pro-colonialist, he developed a concept that underscored the agency of the ‘wretched of the earth’, enabling anti-colonial activists to appropriate the concept.

Natália Schmiedecke (Hamburg)
Oppressed, Resistant and Revolutionary: the Third World as Designed on the OSPAAAL Posters

This presentation will focus on the posters produced by the Organization of Solidarity with the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAAL) during the Cold War. OSPAAAL materials were aimed at supporting revolutionary, anti-colonialist, and anti-imperialist causes in different parts of the world. Using different visual strategies, the posters portrayed the “Third World” as a community of peoples that resisted capitalism and imperialism and that would be responsible for revolutionizing the world order. The posters called for and practiced solidarity as a means of achieving this goal, providing an ideological frame for Cuba’s military and financial support for struggles abroad.

Khalil Dahbi (Hamburg) Thiago Prates (Hamburg)
Global Revolutionary Struggles and the Radical Left: Crossregional Perspectives on Maghrebi and Latin American Discourses (1960-1970s)

This presentation investigates the discourses produced by the radical left in the Maghreb and Latin America. Drawing on publications from Morocco, Tunisia, and Uruguay we analyse two main discursive dimensions: Mutual coverage, exploring representations that actors had of each other, and global level issues, focused on a topic of great significance to the left, the Vietnam War. We assess production contexts in a comparative fashion to highlight recurrences, similarities and differences in imaginaries, practices and theoretical frames. We hope this hints at a need for more complex explorations of the “Global” character of the radical left in the Long 1960s.

Eckart Woertz (Hamburg)
The Iraq War as a War over the Meaning of Europe

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Iraq war this presentation uses the analytical lens of national role conceptions in foreign policy making to address the puzzle why a war over the meaning of Europe was waged outside its territory with involved European parties being members of the same NATO alliance and the actual war and its affected people fading into the background? It does so by analyzing four interconnected issues: (1) how the two states France and Germany were able to establish a common position in early 2003, (2) how this consensus prevented a common position in the wider EU that was about to expand eastwards, (3) how the Iraq war itself played a surprisingly limited role in European deliberations, those were defined by positioning towards the US and (4) how the European failure to unite paradoxically spurred the EU to make progress on further integration afterwards, including on defence and foreign policy.

Diana M. Natermann (Hamburg)
Colonial Visual Sources and their Long-term Effects on the Visualisation of the African Other

This paper discusses societal identity debates whose origins can be traced back to colonial photography and the visualisation of non-white Africans in Namibia and South Africa. Moreover, the effects of colonial stereotyping and othering are presented with regards to their visibility in identity-finding processes and the creation of a collective memories. The country selection is based on a combination of successful anti-colonial movements in the visual, cultural and art sectors which I have coined counter-colonial visualisations. In addition, instead of reacting to the visual narrative of the global north, a southern-African narrative and new cultural structures are sought.

Fabiola Arellano Cruz (Köln)
The "RJM-Reloaded" or How to (Re)Present Other Worldviews, Knowledge and Perspectives in an Ethnological Museum

Ethnological museums have traditionally been vehicles for construction, transmission and perpetuation of binary categorizations (e.g.: West/Orient, superiority/subalternity) from a Eurocentric perspective, favoring certain kinds of knowledge and silencing others. The Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne tends to adjust its permanent exhibition, whose concept is almost 20 years old, in line with current decolonization discourses. The “RJM-Reloaded” is an attempt to make previously marginalized voices and knowledge visible in the permanent exhibition as well as in the educational programs. How this can be achieved and where the challenges lie is the subject of this presentation.

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