I am #GlobalNorth, and I hold international decision-making power. What do I do?

Samantha Suppiah
12 min readJul 7, 2021

Short answer — two prongs: direct action and systemic intervention. But it’s not that simple or straightforward.

I hope you like metaphors, because I have an Analogy House for you — it’s an analogy for breaking colonial hegemony.
I modelled it in SketchUp freehand and everything.

You are, or have been brought up, middle/upper-class in the Global North, which are more or less the relatively privileged parts of “developed” nations. You are most probably white, or you are fair-skinned compared to others in your region, and you identify greatly with contemporary Western culture.
As the Water Research Commission’s Dhesigen Naidoo recently said in passing while having me on for Fluid Conversations, “the North is very fuzzy nowadays”.

You know we’ve been getting everything wrong lately. You know we’re on an accelerated path to planetary destruction. You know it’s happened on your watch. You are thinking about or initiating new projects that seek to address all these wrongs. But are you on the right track? What if you end up replicating everything that is wrong?

Bayo Akomolafe regularly asks us, “what if the way we respond to the crisis is the crisis?”

And the dreaded question — what if you become yet another coloniser?

We are all on unstable, unsettled ground. There is no way round it. There is no stable, safe, well-marked, adequately-lit site for miles around, and the storm’s coming. Life on Earth is in a state of freefall — otherwise known as collapse.

Let’s take a look at those foundations.

You will need solid stone pad foundations and a highly secure structure designed for omni-directional strength, double or more the stress you think they might need to take.

This is an analogy for UNLEARNING.
Everything you have ever been taught is from the One World, the source of colonial hegemony. Humility is not enough. Egodeath is the constant work to maintain these strong solid…

Samantha Suppiah

Southeast Asian trickster. Design strategist for decolonial sustainability & regeneration. www.possiblefutures.earth/samantha