Postcolonialism refers to the conditions in former colonies that have gained independence from their colonial rulers. Colonialism and colonization usually involved the domination and subjugation of one people to another, and the permanent settlement of rulers who maintained political allegiance to their country of origin. However, economic exploitation of the periphery did not necessarily require direct political or military domination. Cultural and linguistic oppression were important factors in maintaining colonial dominance and producing colonial subjects. Postcolonialism describes the processes of overcoming of generations of  such systematic and discursive oppression.

Johannes Fabian has suggested in Time and the Other (2002) that postcolonial practices had and continues to have ideological foundations in the politics of time. The construction of colonial others as populations without time or of a previous time has lingered into the postcolonial period and continues to define its conditions.

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