SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Hana Sandhu

BA (Nottingham), MA (SOAS)


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Hana Sandhu
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Thesis title:
Rewriting the ‘failed state’: anticolonial imaginaries and epistemic violence in the Congo
Year of Study:
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PhD Research

This research critiques the contemporary representation of the Congo as a ‘failed state’ and explores resistant alternatives to this form of knowledge production. The idea of the ‘failed state’ importantly silences histories of anticolonial struggle as well as neo-colonial sabotage in the creation of the Congolese state. Through this silencing, we have witnessed the reinscription of imperialist discourses of primordialism, chaos and violence as the permanent condition of the Congo. Approaching the discourse of the ‘failed state’ as an ideological site of power and knowledge production, I critically examine contemporary Congolese fictions, Patrice Lumumba’s prophetic speeches and visual artefacts that rewrite the ‘failed state’ and produce alternative imaginaries and anticolonial visions of the Congo in the political present.