Extended Book Review: Coloniality of Power and Emancipation’3: L. Martínez Andrade (2015) Religion Without Redemption. Social Contradictions and Awakened Dreams in Latin America

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Her long-standing tradition of radical grass-roots movements that mobilise libertarian, autonomist, anarchist and Marxist traditions, combined with liberation theology and indigenous insurgency, makes Latin America a constant source of inspiration for eman- cipatory praxis. The continent is fertile in producing both critical knowledges and genu- ine philosophical thinking. It provides the world with resourceful forms of resistance to colonial-patriarchal capitalism. Since the 1990s, Latin American movements have been prefiguring alternative politics and social relations with political imagination. Social movements led by women, indigenous people, the landless, the unemployed, rural work- ers, the marginalised and so on have become the protagonists of a sea of radical organis- ing which is politically and socially oppressed, with some exceptions, by the governments of the region. One of the features of these new mobilisations is that they are undertaking a ‘decolonial turn’ (Maldonado-Torres 2011). This ‘turn’, writes Maldonado-Torres (2011), means a new ‘shift away from modernization towards decoloniality as an unfin- ished project that took place in the twentieth century and is still unfolding now’ (p. 2; see also Castro-Gómez and Grosfoguel 2007). They are doing so by exposing and con- testing in writing and action, what Aníbal Quijano coined as the ‘coloniality of power’ (Quijano 2008) in the present post-colonial world. The process of independence in Latin America did not lead to a noticeable democratisation of the political on the bases on which coloniality could be dismantled, argues Quijano. It rather meant ‘a re-articulation of the coloniality of power over new bases’ (Quijano 2008: 214). The ‘coloniality of power’ is the practice that penetrates social, cultural, economic, political interactions and relations and exists between countries in the Global North and South, between countries in the North and South of Europe, and between people within European countries, all intertwined by class and gender discriminations. As they embrace the decolonial turn in a greater or lesser degree, today’s social mobilisation rejects Eurocentric critical theory and politics, for the latter is detached from real experiences and represent the coloniality of knowledge and power that subaltern subjects reject.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalCapital and Class
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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