Miriam Friz Trzeciak
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Manuel Peters
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Decolonising Cottbus
Unmasking coloniality/modernity and ‘imperial difference’ in post (real)socialist urban sites of remembrance
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This chapter reflects on strategies for decolonising the post(real)socialist city in the present and future. Inspired by the demands of postcolonial and decolonial urban initiatives, we trace three sites of remembrance in Cottbus, Germany. Highlighting the complex ways of how (real)socialist modernity was involved in the reproduction of the ‘coloniality of power’, we uncover different processes of social hierarchisation and classification that have shaped the urban context. At the same time, we reflect on the critical potential that (real)socialism offered against colonial orders and relations. We conceptualise the different facets of modernity/coloniality in the urban post(real)socialist space as urban ‘imperial difference’. Uncovering urban sites of remembrance that reflect the colonial legacy of (real)socialism in their meaning for the transformed society of Germany today, however, means making explicit the profound processes of racial hierarchisation and exclusion in the city.

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European cities

Modernity, race and colonialism

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