decontextualized diaspora

There is “no longer any useful role for the universal intellectual who wants to save the world”. Instead we must “move beyond personal and individual experience”—“from the absence of” “different ethnicities, classes, and sexualities…to assert an individual and collective identity”. The voices of the past say “Neglect your well-paid ignorance…[your] compassionless and arrogant” “optimism and stridency”. “[S]ubjectivity is socially constructed in language”, “for language/is the baggage/we bring”. Individual representation is an “intensively personal method of composition”. “To organize self-consciously” involves “an assumption of shared subjectivities [and] inherent essentialism”. “[F]or the articulation of our… inhabiting histories of diaspora” entail “an evasive silence with reference to class”, “a useful and timely intervention”, “the process of cultural diaspora-ization “. “It is not a simple question of their absence; consequently, the task is not one of rendering their visibility”. There will always be “contestation over” representations of “deviant hybridity” “forward ever, backwards never […]”

– Pratibha Parmar, Kobena Mercer, Stuart Hall, Darcus Howe, Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard, Meera Syal, Hazel Carby


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