Decolonising Is Anger


Decolonising is anger. Decolonising is community. Decolonising is listening. Decolonising is coming together, despite all the pain and exhaustion, despite the constant drain of energy that is put onto us by the institutions we are forced to move through, and finding little pieces of joy and comfort. Spaces we have carved out, because we had to, at a university this white. Decolonising is also work and trusting that this work will get done at its own pace, detaching ourselves from the constraint of deadlines and hard structures. If being Black and queer has taught me one thing, it’s that the world will not allow me to rest, to move in my own time, to be idle and content. I think a lot of Black people remember having been told: You’ll have to work twice as hard to get to even. Decolonising is learning to rest, to prioritise yourself and your sanity, to redirect the constant drain of energy that goes into educating others as to our humanity, redirect it towards change and revolution. A lesson I am still learning from Audre Lorde. This and anger. How to use it, how to feel it, fully, without constraint and shame, how to let it fuel me in dire times. So many of us have been instructed that anger means fury and destruction, that it means trauma and outbursts, that our anger is to be denied and swallowed deep down, where it festers at our core. But my anger comes from grief, from ache and tiredness, from exhaustion and the perpetual demands this world places upon me, from the deep distortion between our peers that disallows connection and community. And as much as tropes of the Angry Black Person try to shame me into being docile and sweeten my tone for whiteness’ ears, I refuse. I am angry. Why aren’t you? And I cannot extend myself to feel your anger for you. My anger is not to be confused with envy. I don’t want to participate in the endless spiel of power and performance, I don’t want to participate in the systems built for my exploitation so I may get a crumb of power over others. Decolonising is tearing down, decolonising is abolition, decolonising is having the imagination and ardour to build something entirely new, to move beyond the restrictions placed upon us to control and cage.

i tear my breath into bite-sized pieces

a habit of my crafted tongue

yet instead of the master’s house

appealing to sense long lost in cruelty

i find myself in convivial chambers

hearths of joy and comfort


I will keep the list of labels short: I am Black, Queer, and Non-Binary, with German-Brazilian heritage, born and raised in the south of Germany, in Bavaria. Working class background, although it is more complicated than that, mentally ill, and am lucky enough to have access to higher education. These labels barely scratch the surface, I contain multitudes, but they all come to inform how I interact with the world and people around me. My interests centre around race, queerness, postcolonial and decolonial theory, anarchist theory, and abolitionist thought. I want to make this space into a place for anger, grief, and joy, hoping that my words might produce a fraction of what I pour, daily.


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