Where was the Afro in Afro-Asian solidarity? Africa's 'Bandung moment' in 1950s Asia

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JournalJournal of World History
DateAccepted/In press - 17 Dec 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jun 2019
Issue number1-2
Volume30
Pages (from-to)89-123
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Africans are staged but not often heard in discussions of the ‘Bandung moment’, a high-watermark of decolonial possibility and Afro-Asian connection. This article foregrounds the agency and perspectives of African activists who travelled across Asia in the 1950s. In Delhi, Rangoon and Bandung, Africans engaged, co-produced and made useable the dialogical Afro-Asian world to deconstruct colonialism and engineer alternative futures. The piece tracks these dynamics through three interlocked arenas of Afro-Asian affinity: journeys of African students to India from the 1940s; African participation in the Asian Socialist Conference in Burma, 1953–1956, and, as the geographies of Afro-Asianism shifted, radicalized and splintered, African activism within the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization in Cairo from 1957. It reveals how the overlapping internationalisms of these fora reinforced a dyad of anti-colonial politics and development in the construction of African nationhood and pan-African community. This article breaks new ground in privileging the Afro in Afro-Asian.

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