Nathan Shachars rallarsving against Edward Said's ”Orientalism” in the context of the book's 40th anniversary ( DN 18/12) has been commented on and been met by Stefan Jonsson ( 20/12). The main errors in Shachars polemic text, has been discussed. However, there is the need to highlight some other claims in the Shachars request.
Read more: Few books have done more harm than the ”Orientalism”
in particular, he claims that countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany have not had the ”colonial affairs” – thus we must assume, a concrete colonial history and politics. Here is a diversity of empirical evidence to the contrary.Edward Said's influential study, ”Orientalism” was published in 1978.
colonial history during the 1600-century, beginning with the kidnapping of inuit in Greenland, the construction of the colony. in south India and later the establishment of colonies in west africa and in the Caribbean. The colonies in the Caribbean was in Danish hands until 1917.
What do you think Shachar is that the Danish colonialists spent their time on the gold coast, on the sockerplantagerna on the St Croix? The slave trade and slavery was a central activity in the Danish Atlantpolitiken. Sweden was certainly less ”successful,” but came anyway to play a significant role in this filthy handling during the 1700-century and 1800-century, as recently demonstrated in several historical studies.
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Germany also has a much longer colonial history than what Shachar seems to know. Brandenburgkompaniet was an active party in the expansion of the transatlantic slave trade in the 1600-century. Swedish Afrikakompaniets leading player Henry Johnson was of German descent. Added to this is the late 1800-century German colonial policies in several parts of Africa. At the very least, bloody history with consequences today.
and Sweden's relations to Sápmi and the sami populations. Is not the displacement, tvångsmission, theft of heritage, land and water for hundreds of years anything that can be called colonialism and colonial affairs?
this is The stories that has barely been noted in the past, but in the 40 years since ”Orientalism” was published, become the subject for empirical studies.