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Marios Constantinou

Abstract

In this paper I evaluate in essay-form the intervention of a self-styled anthropological discourse that sets claims to postcolonial theory in order to frame the Greek-Cypriot irredentist insurrection (1955-1959) in a Manichean allegory of high-toned and overwrought binary signifiers of aphotic, unilluminated, night-time nationalism imputable to a villainous, recidivist and coercively like-minded communitarianism emblematic of Greek-Cypriot culture on one hand, and the enlightened, unbigoted, freethinking progressivism attributed to Turkish-Cypriot culture on the other, {the latter operating as a back-up signifier for a licensed civil modernity, deputised by a misunderstood liberal colonialism). By selectively recalibrating aspects of postcolonial theory serviceable to the urgency of reenfranchising colonialism in an age of imperial succedaneum, the anthropological discourse under review aspires to bail the indigenised natives out of their atavistic unreason and irredentist infirmities, while nursing them mentally until they graduate from the consummated modernity of the West. Contrary to such renovated missionary ambition and anthropological evangelism trading condescendingly with the unprincipled and unauthorised modernity of ex-subject populations, I suggest a duological counter-narrative of the nation, venturesome enough to evoke but also cross its boundaries when they become totalising, mindful that the other is not always and already what the coloniser had imagined s/he would be. This is, after all, an essay on the decolonisation of whatever has been left over from the perpetrated euthanasia of postcolonial reason after the latter's salutatory high-jump from the comfort of its cosmopolitan observation tower.


With the decline of the grand narratives of modernity some cosmopolitan strands of postmodern/postcolonial theory, unconscious of their geopolitical collusion with Western power, tend to convert the merciless cynicism of colonial modernity into new, equally ruthless, narrative forms of cynical enlightenment, which naturalise Occidentalism and which unless critically understood in a contestatory process, no vision of mental decolonisation can be made possible.

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