Chapter 1. The Colony: Its Guilty Secret and Its Accursed Share

  1. Elleke Boehmer Professor2 and
  2. Stephen Morton Senior Lecturer3
  1. Achille Mbembe Research Professor

Published Online: 5 NOV 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444310085.ch1

Terror and the Postcolonial

Terror and the Postcolonial

How to Cite

Mbembe, A. (2009) The Colony: Its Guilty Secret and Its Accursed Share, in Terror and the Postcolonial (eds E. Boehmer and S. Morton), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444310085.ch1

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Oxford, UK

  2. 3

    University of Southampton, UK

Author Information

  1. University of Wiwatersrand, South Africa

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2009
  2. Published Print: 2 OCT 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405191548

Online ISBN: 9781444310085



  • the colony - its guilty secret and its accursed share;
  • the colony inscribing itself into contemporary African imagination;
  • authentic ego appearing to have been altered;
  • colonial potentate - constantly attacking humanity of colonial subject;
  • colonized subject of disempowerment of the self;
  • colony and guilty secret - the subjugation of the native by his own desire;
  • losses Africa suffered - in detour of this oppressive encounter;
  • critique of time and aesthetics of recollection;
  • statues, effigies, and colonial monuments – the trap;
  • the colony, place of terror and horror – this goes without saying


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Remembering the Potentate

  • The Critique of Time and the Aesthetics of Recollection

  • Process of the Cure; Question of the Proper Noun

  • Conclusion

  • References