As this editorial is being written, European and Western state’s active participation and complicity in the ongoing violence and genocide endemic to colonisation and nationalism continues to be painted in garish colours for all the world to see. At the same time, mass movements across borders are rising up to challenge this injustice. On the question of reparations for slavery and the brutal crimes of 500 years of European colonialism, demands for justice and accountability from colonial metropoles are taking place.
On the question of solidarity with Palestinians who have been resisting settler-colonialism, occupation and apartheid for 75 years, millions have come forth from all backgrounds and faiths around the world to stand and act in support, despite brutal repression of freedom of expression. Workers, including EU staff, are rising up against the hypocrisy of their leaders.
Decolonisation in its most material and primary sense means the dismantling of settler-colonial states. Support for resistance does not mean support for war crimes; all such crimes committed by any party must be brought to justice through independent investigations applying international law justly to all parties.
Such independent investigations are sorely lacking and would be an alternative to war, with an underfunded International Criminal Court that has been unable to act where Western powers and their allies such as the United States, the UK and Israel have transgressed, while (rightly) acting relatively quickly against the transgressions of non-Western states (see, e.g. Putin’s arrest warrant).
These questions are summed up poignantly in a letter of solidarity from Ukrainians to Palestinians, published in this journal’s section on ‘Decolonising Europe’. Also in this section is an article on the need for intersectional feminist movements to rise up against nationalism, patriarchy and the far right in Europe; a discussion on reviving postsecular decolonial knowledge; and a homage to a forest endangered by extractive capitalism.
In our section on Assembling, Organising and Connecting, we put forward a proposal for parliamentarians and cities to work together for radical migration policy reform ahead of the 2024 EU elections; learn lessons from Poland’s wom*n’s strike; report on our Transeuropa Festival ‘Holding Spaces’ assembly; and explore ways of connecting community through growing plants and inter-species dialogue.
Art Beyond Borders begins with a powerful reflection on dealing with eating disorders through art; the exciting launch of European Alternative’s Room to Bloom catalogue – a feminist platform for ecological and postcolonial narratives of Europe; report from Artsformation research into using the arts to shape desirable technological futures; and a podcast on democracy, dictatorship and decolonisation where artist Samar Zughool talks about how culture and creativity can challenge censorship and build new narratives. n.