Many strong nations have colonized countries to gain resources, money, or power throughout history. This is called colonialism. It is essential to acknowledge the negative impacts colonialism has caused to ensure that we do not repeat the same actions in the future moving forth.
Countries, like Britain, colonized people from other countries to gain laborers for greed. The indigenous people of the land were forced into work through cruel punishments.
The mass production of agriculture from labor resulted in the colonized land’s resources depleting quickly. After watching “Spirited Away,” I realized that this circumstance matches a motif in the movie. “Spirited Away” is an animated film made by Studio Ghibli that narrates the journey of a young girl trapped in a foreign world. In a particular scene, a spirit that can absorb other individuals’ characteristics, named No-Face, manages to sneak into a bathhouse with the help of the protagonist. The only reason why he is allowed inside the bathhouse is that he can generate gold instantly. Initially, he is non-threatening. However, due to his ability to absorb others’ characteristics, No-Face starts to eat the workers which reflect their greed to gain gold from him. In my comparison, the bathhouse workers are the colonizers who use No-Face or the colonized people who are forced to work as tools for their gain. Both No-Face and the colonized laborers lose something valuable from the colonizers and the bathhouse employees’ ill intentions. No-Face loses his purity and the colonized laborers lose their resources from their land. Colonization is motivated by greed and its consequences are dire.
Not only did the British force natives to work in their homeland, they involuntarily brought people who lived in their colonized West African territory to their country as slaves.
After slavery was abolished in Britain, the majority of the descendants of the slaves stayed in Britain most likely because they were now British citizens. They did not have a connection with the identity and culture of Africans because of the displacement of their ancestors. This situation is similar to the short, “Scavengers.” In this video, two astronauts are stranded on a foreign planet and cannot get home. In the end, it is revealed that the long expedition they have been working on was to receive a hallucination about their former life. Black citizens of Britain may share an affinity with the two astronauts because likewise to the astronauts adapted to the new planet full of bug creatures, yet still longing for their past,
citizens of Britain that descended from enslaved Africans have a place in Britain society, yet part of their identity has been stolen by British colonizers. Even to this day, colonization affects the numerous descendants of enslaved Africans who do not possess their African heritage.
The colonization of the Philippines resulted in Filipinos being held inferior to the Spanish Colonizers. When Spain took control, they decided to only give Filipinos low-level office positions, and barely any Filipinos received formal education. Due to their disadvantages, Filipinos had little power to fight against the Spanish colonizers. The Spanish regarded Filipinos the same way the gardener in the poem, “A Work of Artifice” speaks to a bonsai: “It is your nature to be small and cozy, domestic and weak; how lucky, little tree, to have a pot to grow in.” This poem perfectly demonstrates the imbalanced power dynamic between the Spanish and the Filipinos due to colonization.
The results of colonization are misfortunate situations for the people of the colonized land. Though we cannot change the past, we, as a society, can educate ourselves about the ruthlessness of colonialism to decolonize our minds.