Walter D. Mignolo
Duke University, Durham, USA


The decolonial option in politics and in epistemology was the direct consequence of the imperial/colonial invasion, first in Anahuac and Tawantinsuyu, and since the middle of the XVIII century in different spaces of the Islamic world (i.e. the British colonization of Hindu-Muslim India, the French colonization of North Africa). Sub-Saharan Africa was also colonized in the XIX century, but it was plundered and suffered slave trade for America’s mines and plantations since the XVI century. African communities in America were not colonized like indigenous people; they were enslaved. Many indigenous people and Africans in America rejected to be governed by both the crown and the plantation owners. Dissidence emerged in different places and in different ways, some anti-imperial/colonial, some decolonial. Waman Puma de Ayala in the Andes, and Ottobah Cugoano, enslaved and taken to the Caribbean and later liberated in London, wrote their own political decolonial treaties that acknowledged Euro-centered theory and political thought (Aristotle, Plato, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, etc.). They both illustrate the relevance of geopolitics of knowledge for future projects, based not on the experiences and desires of European history, but rather autonomous accounts; that is, no longer based on the world history written by Europeans, which responded to the sensibility and experience of this continent and not to the sensibility and experience of the rest of the planet.

Keywords: decolonial thought, decolonial political theory, decolonial option, geopolitics of knowledge, modernity/coloniality, border epistemology.

Keywords plus: Mignolo, Walter D., 1941 — Philosophy thought, Social movements, Indians movements – Latin América.