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Birte Förster (Bielefeld University)

from 08 May 2023 at 17:00 to 11 May 2023 at 18:45

Aula Specola - In presence event

The seminar examines the importance of infrastructures and especially the production of water energy for the decolonisation of Africa, understanding decolonisation as a social, economic, cultural and political process. First, we will discuss why it makes sense to look at the history of decolonisation through the lens of large-scale technical projects. Second, the history of colonial infrastructures and hydropower will be traced by examining the reconceptualisation of colonial policy in the interwar period and the implementation of development programmes by the British and French Empires and the World Bank. Thirdly, we will look at energy extractivism and current hydropower projects and discuss the question of whether the current interest in green energy is leading to a new form of colonialism, namely energy colonialism. The main aim of this seminar is thus to shed light not only on the importance of water infrastructures and energy production for colonial development policies and the consequences of these policies for the process of decolonisation, but also on the impact of such energy colonialism on the quest for renewable energy and the goal of climate neutrality.