theory #12: To Dream or to Act. Édouard Glissant's Poetics of Relation

Updated: Jan 11


To dream or to act is the question Edouard Glissant confronts us with: A question we can ask ourselves very often in our current times when we observe the colonial structures and struggles caused by them. In this regard, Glissant’s Poetic of Relation offers an exploration of the relational quality of being towards a decolonial observation of race. His attention to the mythologizing scientific discourse as part of the geopolitics of power in which black or indigenous knowledges are marginalized and perpetuated as less developed in the world today. Glissant insists on the idea of poetics as a means to create new imaginaries, new forms of coming together. Close related to the current racial violence, Glissant recognizes the oppressive order and the exclusion that produces, and brings forward the idea of Relation as a form of resistance, a way to understand experience as contact among cultures, without hierarchies, but as horizontal network of relation, but at the same time as a internal never-ending relationship that produces itself constantly which accordingly allows us to imagine, a poetic, that should allow us to act political differently.


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