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Digital Subscriptions > iScot Magazine > Issue 57 OctoberNovember > Prison Without Bars

Prison Without Bars

I NEVER embraced the idea of Scotland being a colony of Englandas-Britain. I have always regarded such talk as an intellectually lazy, culturally unfitting, and politically questionable appropriation of the narrative of the real victims of colonial oppression for the purposes of provocative rhetoric. Unfortunately, in rejecting hyperbolic claims of Scotland’s subjugation by England-as-Britain, I failed to properly appreciate the relevance of the concept of mental colonisation.

Having an abiding interest in psycholgy and politics, I had encountered the concept of the colonisation of the mind in the work of people such as the psychoanalyst, political philosopher and revolutionary, Frantz Fanon. His account of being punished as a child in the French colony of Martinique for speaking Creole rather than ‘proper French’ certainly resonated with my own experiences. But I could never make the stretch to seeing this superficially rather mild cultural oppression as reflecting a subordination of my humanity - to borrow Fanon’s language on the subject.

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The one with the 'Sneering Brittannia' on the front cover. Enjoy this cornucopia of Celtic content and read about the real Scotland from a Scottish lens.