Reparation as transformation: Radical literary (re)imaginings of futurities through decolonial love

Yomaira C. Figueroa

Abstract


This article examines how Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) and Joaquin Mbomio Bacheng’s Matinga: sangre en la selva (2013) engage theories of reparations and futurities through practices of decolonial love. Through these readings I map how Díaz and Bacheng imagine and (re)imagine reparations in Afro-diasporic/Afro-exilic and decolonial contexts. The dialogue on reparations draws on the work of Robin Kelley and discussions of decolonial love draws on the work of Chela Sandoval, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, and Junot Díaz. In Díaz’s Oscar Wao I examine reparations and decolonial love in relation to the psychological and psychosocial legacy of slavery and the coloniality-of-power and gender. Mbomio Bacheng’s novel Matinga, links the future of Equatorial Guinea to past political and activist struggles while making Matinga’s blood a crucial part of the reparations that would lead to a more loving future. Critical insights from Indigenous Feminisms enrich the analysis of Matinga. The article highlights two distinct ways that these Afro-Latinx and Afro-Hispanic writers conceive of reparations beyond the material and toward a philosophy of decolonial love.


Keywords


decolonial love; reparations; Equatorial Guinea; Afro Latinx; Junot Díaz; futurities

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ISSN 1929-8692