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Can the Subaltern Speak?

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Presentation on theme: "Can the Subaltern Speak?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Can the Subaltern Speak?
An Essay by Gayatri Spivak

2 Subaltern Subaltern is that identity that has no possibility at social mobility No possibility to speak No possibility to be heard Intransability of the Subaltern’s structural position

3 Photograph by Fazal Sheikh
Photograph by Fazal Sheikh. Ajoh Achot and Achol Manyen, Sudanese refugee camp. Lokichoggio, Kenya, 1992.

4 Representation Who is represented as the Subject?
Who is representable as the Subject? Who is chosen to represent the Subaltern?

5 How is Speaking Subject being Produced?
white man Savior - brown man Injurer - brown woman Injured - Brown woman oppressed as structural necessity Saving brown woman is also a structural necessity

6 Woman as a Subject Woman remains an unthinkable figure that needs saving, protection, an assigned identity, a set of limits, rules. Where do the rules/norms/ideas of identity come from? How are the rules, norms, identities POLICED?

7 Subaltern Identity Accepts wretchedness as normality
Millennial cognitive damage done to subaltern Valid institutional background can help subaltern speak

8 Agency Agency is the CAPABILITY or POWER to affect a desired change.
Agency is NOT the same as Rights, Freedoms, Privileges, Advantages, Abilities. Agency is more specific to time, place, socio- economic context. Agency is increasingly perceived as a key goal of development.

9 New Subaltern Identity
Subaltern becoming permeable because of desire to “do good” or “do something” Allow subaltern to speak and be heard A general will to create exploitation into the subaltern, too, is present

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