On 30 March 2021, UNDIVIDED published their #DECOLONIZEKULEUVEN manifesto. As the coordinator of UNDIVIDED at the time, this project was the culmination of our work since the beginning of UNDIVIDED as a student-led platform in 2018.
Undivided advocates for the overdue reckoning with academia’s, and specifically KU Leuven’s, colonial past. The #DecolonizeKULeuven manifesto launched in 2021 sets out a roadmap for decolonising the university. Its 10 demands cover issues such as Eurocentrism in curricula; KU Leuven’s participation in Belgium’s colonial past in Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi; and the precarious position of cleaners and other university support staff.
This project came to light through the work of many volunteers who helped write the manifesto itself; who were willing to speak on their experiences with Eurocentric curricula at KU Leuven; who helped us organise the events we did in the context of our decolonisation work. Thank you all.
Working on this manifesto reaffirmed to me how important it is that academia sheds its pretence of neutrality and rejects the West as the sole point of departure for knowledge.
These are the ten demands within our manifesto:
Layout and graphic design of the manifesto: Justine De Smet
Watch our #DECOLONIZEKULEUVEN launch event on YouTube here: