Looking back
in Bordering intimacy

Whilst the previous five chapters examine the adaption of colonial rule in Britain through family/borders, chapter 7 turns to practices of contestation and resistance. It draws from bell hooks’s provocation that ‘looking back’ was always/already a central strategy against racist subjugation historically and continues today – even in the face of insurmountable violence. Whilst focused primarily on visuality, this offers reflections on how various struggles contest the colonial politics of mobility, family, borders more broadly and how we can think this relationship differently. The chapter proposes three different ways of ‘looking back’: resistance, escape and decolonial aesthesis. Whilst all offer powerful challenges to the colonial power of borders and family, decolonial aesthesis, linked to a broader decolonial politics, offers important lessons for how we might think family and love other than with empire and colonial hierarchies of the human.

Bordering intimacy

Postcolonial governance and the policing of family

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