Thoughts on decolonialization in Libya

Decolonialization has always been a difficult topic to cover. I remember discussing it last semester in my British history class. One of the topics we discussed was the relationship between Great Britain and India. India was left in a high state of confusion which in the end hurt the country. Here, it seems to be the same case with Italy and Libya. Both sides felt the effects of decolonialization, as Jerary states, “This inherited resentment takes the form among Libyans of a right to revenge and among the Italians of feelings of aggression and guilt.”

Today, there are still effects felt from the decolonialization. While reading this article, I could not help but think back to the article we read before on the returning of the obelisk and how Italy kept it for so long. I enjoyed reading about the findings of the Libyan Studies Center and how people felt then as well as today with regards to how they were treated by the Italians but also as to what they should do today. Compensation for all of the crimes committed by the Italians to the Libyans would be nice but I cannot imagine calculating the price for all that was lost, including the lives of many.

I also enjoyed the metaphor of the eclipse with decolonialization in the second article. My favorite part of the metaphor was the idea that “one can never say when an eclipse truly begins or ends. It is essentially ambiguous and defies perceptual certainty.”  One could say that colonialism ends with the colonizing country leaving its colonies however, the effects of colonialism are still there in the displacement of their culture as well as in the destruction of lives and land. It is never truly certain when it ends. Italy did not even apologize for colonialism until 1999, which was years after they left. This was perhaps my favorite part of the entire article.

Here is an image of the scene described in the beginning of the article. Pinkus connects the emptiness of this scene to that of decolonialization.