When Asia and Africa Envisioned a New World Order
The 1955 Bandung Conference Created a ‘Unifying Myth of Decolonization’ and a Renewed Ethos of Self-Determination
“No race holds the monopoly of beauty, of intelligence, of strength / and there is a place for all at the rendezvous of victory,” wrote the Martinican poet Aimé Césaire in Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, first published in 1939 and later translated from the French by Trinidadian intellectual C.L.R. James.
Many writers have quoted these lines from Césaire, but more striking is the fact that 16 years later, such a rendezvous did occur. In 1955, 29 countries from Africa and Asia met in Bandung, Indonesia, for the …