I am reviewing postcolonial theory and covering Homi Bhaba’s concept of mimicry. This occurs when members of a colonized society imitate and take on the culture of the colonizers.
For Homi Bhaba, would internalized oppression be a form of mimicry? Or, can someone engage in mimicry outwardly while still be unaccepting inwardly of their inferior status? I have observed Nigerians engaged in what seems to be mimicry, while still maintaining intense tribal pride, e.g. the Ogonis.
He has a paragraph on revolting against “doubling” in India, or indigenous clerks realizing they no longer wanted to perform colonial functions, which is also applicable to Africa. It is a catalyst for self-emancipation when men go away to foreign wars as soldiers. Anglophone West Africans who fought for the British during WWII returned to their countries after fighting side-by-side with White European comrades; they had been brothers in battle. Those African men reclaimed their homes with a new sense of autonomy that contributed to the golden year of independence later on—1960. I would argue that WWII helped to end some of Bhaba’s manifestations of oppression, like doubling, in that sense.
Author: Anand Bose
Homi Baba is one of the foremost thinkers of Post Colonial Criticism and belongs to the school of thought known as Post Structuralism.
Homi Baba has made intrusions into the philosophy of language where texts become constructs for post colonial criticism. For Baba Colonialism has not been a straight forward clique between the oppressed and the oppressors but an evolving semantic machine marked by psychological anxiety and tension between the oppressor and the oppressor.
Here in this article I would like to articulate some ideas of Homi Baba on Post Colonial Criticism. They are hybridization, mimicry, uncanny, doubling, difference, ambivalence and anxiety. For Baba, a nation is always in the process of evolution and a nation is not a fixed entity.
Hybridization is a process through which cultures interact, mix and develop new cultural and evolutionary tendencies. A common example can be taken is that of the…
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