Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • I promise you that I will not sing. I will spare you that, at least.

  • But I am a historian

  • with a background in philosophy,

  • and my main area of research is basically the history of Southeast Asia,

  • with a focus on 19th-century colonial Southeast Asia.

  • And over the last few years,

  • what I've been doing is really tracing the history of certain ideas

  • that shape our viewpoint,

  • the way we in Asia, in Southeast Asia,

  • look at ourselves and understand ourselves.

  • Now, there's one thing that I cannot explain

  • as a historian,

  • and this has been puzzling me for a long time,

  • and this is how and why certain ideas, certain viewpoints

  • do not seem to ever go away.

  • And I don't know why.

  • And in particular,

  • I'm interested to understand why some people -- not all, by no means --

  • but some people in postcolonial Asia

  • still hold on to a somewhat romanticized view of the colonial past,

  • see it through kind of rose-tinted lenses

  • as perhaps a time that was benevolent or nice or pleasant,

  • even though historians know the realities of the violence

  • and the oppression

  • and the darker side of that entire colonial experience.

  • So let's imagine that I build a time machine for myself.

  • (Makes beeping noises)

  • I build a time machine,

  • I send myself back to the 1860s,

  • a hundred years before I was born.

  • Oh dear, I've just dated myself.

  • OK, I go back a hundred years before I was born.

  • Now, if I were to find myself in the context of colonial Southeast Asia

  • in the 19th century,

  • I would not be a professor.

  • Historians know this.

  • And yet, despite that,

  • there's still some quarters that somehow want to hold on to this idea

  • that that past was not as murky,

  • that there was a romanticized side to it.

  • Now, here is where I, as a historian,

  • I encounter the limits of history,

  • because I can trace ideas.

  • I can find out the origins of certain clichés, certain stereotypes.

  • I can tell you who came up with it, where and when and in which book.

  • But there's one thing I cannot do:

  • I cannot get into the internal, subjective mental universe of someone

  • and change their mind.

  • And I think this is where and why, over the last few years,

  • I'm increasingly drawn to things like psychology

  • and cognitive behavioral therapy;

  • because in these fields, scholars look at the persistence of ideas.

  • Why do some people have certain prejudices?

  • Why are there certain biases, certain phobias?

  • We live, unfortunately, sadly, in a world where, still, misogyny persists,

  • racism persists, all kinds of phobias.

  • Islamophobia, for instance, is now a term.

  • And why do these ideas persist?

  • Many scholars agree that it's partly because, when looking at the world,

  • we fall back, we fall back, we fall back

  • on a finite pool,

  • a small pool of basic ideas that don't get challenged.

  • Look at how we, particularly us in Southeast Asia,

  • represent ourselves to ourselves and to the world.

  • Look at how often,

  • when we talk about ourselves, my viewpoint, my identity, our identity,

  • invariably, we fall back, we fall back, we fall back, we fall back

  • on the same set of ideas,

  • all of which have histories of their own.

  • Very simple example:

  • we live in Southeast Asia,

  • which is very popular with tourists from all over the world.

  • And I don't think that's a bad thing, by the way.

  • I think it's good that tourists come to Southeast Asia,

  • because it's part and parcel of broadening your worldview

  • and meeting cultures, etc, etc.

  • But look at how we represent ourselves

  • through the tourist campaigns, the tourist ads that we produce.

  • There will be the obligatory coconut tree, banana tree, orangutan.

  • (Laughter)

  • And the orangutan doesn't even get paid.

  • (Laughter)

  • Look at how we represent ourselves. Look at how we represent nature.

  • Look at how we represent the countryside.

  • Look at how we represent agricultural life.

  • Watch our sitcoms.

  • Watch our dramas. Watch our movies.

  • It's very common, particularly in Southeast Asia,

  • when you watch these sitcoms,

  • if there's someone from the countryside, invariably, they're ugly,

  • they're funny, they're silly,

  • they're without knowledge.

  • It's as if the countryside has nothing to offer.

  • Our view of nature,

  • despite all our talk,

  • despite all our talk about Asian philosophy, Asian values,

  • despite all our talk about how we have an organic relationship to nature,

  • how do we actually treat nature in Southeast Asia today?

  • We regard nature as something to be defeated and exploited.

  • And that's the reality.

  • So the way in which we live in our part of the world,

  • postcolonial Southeast Asia,

  • in so many ways, for me,

  • bears residual traces to ideas, tropes,

  • clichés, stereotypes

  • that have a history.

  • This idea of the countryside as a place to be exploited,

  • the idea of countryfolk as being without knowledge --

  • these are ideas that historians like me can go back,

  • we can trace how these stereotypes emerged.

  • And they emerged at a time

  • when Southeast Asia

  • was being governed according to the logic of colonial capitalism.

  • And in so many ways,

  • we've taken these ideas with us.

  • They're part of us now.

  • But we are not critical

  • in interrogating ourselves and asking ourselves,

  • how did I have this view of the world?

  • How did I come to have this view of nature?

  • How did I come to have this view of the countryside?

  • How do I have this idea of Asia as exotic?

  • And we, Southeast Asians in particular,

  • love to self-exoticize ourselves.

  • We've turned Southeast Asian identity into a kind of cosplay

  • where you can literally go to the supermarket, go to the mall

  • and buy your do-it-yourself exotic Southeast Asian costume kit.

  • And we parade this identity,

  • not asking ourselves how and when

  • did this particular image of ourselves emerge.

  • They all have a history, too.

  • And that's why, increasingly,

  • as a historian, I find that as I encounter the limits of history,

  • I see that I can't work alone anymore.

  • I can't work alone anymore,

  • because there's absolutely no point in me doing my archival work,

  • there's no point in me seeking the roots of these ideas,

  • tracing the genesis of ideas

  • and then putting it in some journal

  • to be read by maybe three other historians.

  • There's absolutely no point.

  • The reason why I think this is important is because our region, Southeast Asia,

  • will, I believe, in the years to come,

  • go through enormous changes, unprecedented changes in our history,

  • partly because of globalization,

  • world politics, geopolitical contestations,

  • the impact of technology,

  • the Fourth Industrial Revolution ...

  • Our world as we know it is going to change.

  • But for us to adapt to this change,

  • for us to be ready for that change,

  • we need to think out of the box,

  • and we can't fall back, we can't fall back, we can't fall back

  • on the same set of clichéd, tired, staid old stereotypes.

  • We need to think out,

  • and that's why historians, we can't work alone now.

  • I, I need to engage with people in psychology,

  • people in behavioral therapy.

  • I need to engage with sociologists, anthropologists, political economists.

  • I need above all to engage with people in the arts

  • and the media,

  • because it's there, in that forum,

  • outside the confines of the university,

  • that these debates really need to take place.

  • And they need to take place now,

  • because we need to understand that the way things are today

  • are not determined by some fixed,

  • iron historical railway track,

  • but rather there are many other histories,

  • many other ideas that were forgotten, marginalized, erased along the line.

  • Historians like me, our job is to uncover all this, discover all this,

  • but we need to engage this, we need to engage with society as a whole.

  • So to go back to that time machine example I gave earlier.

  • Let's say this is a 19th-century colonial subject then,

  • and a person's wondering,

  • "Will empire ever come to an end?

  • Will there be an end to all this?

  • Will we one day be free?"

  • So the person invents a time machine --

  • (Makes beeping noises)

  • goes into the future

  • and arrives here in postcolonial Southeast Asia today.

  • And the person looks around,

  • and the person will see,

  • well yes, indeed,

  • the imperial flags are gone,

  • the imperial gunboats are gone, the colonial armies are gone.

  • There are new flags, new nation-states.

  • There is independence after all.

  • But has there been?

  • The person then watches the tourist ads

  • and sees again the banana tree, the coconut tree and the orangutan.

  • The person watches on TV

  • and watches how images of an exotic Southeast Asia

  • are being reproduced again and again by Southeast Asians.

  • And the person might then come to the conclusion that, well,

  • notwithstanding the fact that

  • colonialism is over,

  • we are still in so, so many ways

  • living in the long shadow of the 19th century.

  • And this, I think, has become my personal mission.

  • The reason why I think history is so important

  • and the reason why I think it's so important for history

  • to go beyond history,

  • because need to reignite this debate about who and what we are,

  • all of us.

  • We talk about, "No, I have my viewpoint, you have your viewpoint."

  • Well, that's partly true.

  • Our viewpoints are never entirely our own individually.

  • We're all social beings. We're historical beings.

  • You, me, all of us,

  • we carry history in us.

  • It's in the language we use. It's in the fiction we write.

  • It's in the movies we choose to watch.

  • It's in the images that we conjure when we think of who and what we are.

  • We are historical beings.

  • We carry history with us,

  • and history carries us along.

  • But while we are determined by history,

  • it is my personal belief

  • that we need not be trapped by history,

  • and we need not be the victims of history.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I promise you that I will not sing. I will spare you that, at least.

字幕與單字

影片操作 你可以在這邊進行「影片」的調整,以及「字幕」的顯示

B1 中級 美國腔

為什麼殖民主義(仍然)被浪漫化?| 法利什-艾哈邁德-努爾 (Why is colonialism (still) romanticized? | Farish Ahmad-Noor)

  • 37 2
    蔡東鐘 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
影片單字