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Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent | Priyamvada Gopal

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Rejecting capitalist notions of freedom

Some of the fiercest resistance to empire came from outside of Britain. In 1865, Jamaican rebels challenged the limited 'freedom' offered by capitalism, being emancipated from slavery only to go work on sugar plantations as waged labourers. Priyamvada Gopal shows how the British tradition of anti-colonialism was heavily influenced by resistance from within the colonies.

Changing the stories we have inherited from colonialism

Decolonising the English curriculum is about understanding and undoing mythologies. Priyamvada Gopal argues we need to challenge the idea that some cultures are the ‘givers’ and the ‘teachers’, and others are the ‘takers’ and the ‘taught’. We need access to other narratives.

We need solidarity, not shame

Neither pride nor shame are useful responses to Britain's imperial history; instead, we need more solidarity with those who experience exploitation and violence. In this video Priyamvada Gopal uncovers a complicated history of dissidence in Britain, where allyship often moved beyond national lines.

Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent | the full interview

In the interview below, Priyamvada Gopal explains the ideas and theories behind her book Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent.