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How to Leave Modernity Behind: The Relationship Between Colonialism and Enlightenment, and the Possibility of Altermodern Decoloniality

Britta Saal



Starting from the fact that we all share modern history while at the same timehaving very different and sometimes contrasting experiences of what modernityis, I’d first like to look at the connection between colonialism andEnlightenment, because the modern norms and values developed then are stilldiscussed very actively on the global scale. One of the major problems thatconstrain the transcendence of the colonial impact of these norms and values isthe colonized mind. It is very clear that it is necessary to decolonize both thecolonized and the colonizer’s minds. Here the project of conceptualdecolonization, formulated by the Ghanaian philosopher Kwasi Wiredu, servesas a very fruitful basis for further reflections. Finally, with regard to Wiredu andother intercultural, postcolonial, and decolonial approaches, an idea of whatconceptual decolonization of modernity could mean will be proposed forfurther discussion.

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