chapter  8
Actually Existing Postcolonialisms: Colonial Urbanism and Architecture after the Postcolonial Turn
Pages 20

In his intriguing essay on “actually existing postcolonialism” (from whichboth my title and epigraph are taken), cultural historian Bill Schwarz writes, “To think about divergent historical forms of postcoloniality means working through the political configurations of specific conjunctures.”2 The specific conjuncture he addresses is the early to middle twentieth century origins of the racist ideologies of British Conservative politician Enoch Powell, and their sinister popular political effects, generally referred to in Britain as Powellism. As a dyed-in-the-wool imperialist, Powell’s recognition in the 1960s that Britain’s empire had come to an end was also a recognition that, with black immigration into the United Kingdom, “ ‘Race’ [was] billed to play a major . . . part in the battle of Britain.”3 In Schwarz’s careful argument, it was in this context that “postcolonialism” in the metropolis was first popularly experienced as “Powellism,” with its connotations of racism, in the 1970s.