The point of departure of this special issue is the University of Amsterdam’s student occupation in the spring of 2015, and the banner hanging from the front of its main administrative building – ‘het Maagdenhuis’ – stating: ‘No Democratisation without Decolonisation’. In Belgium, the issue of decolonisation is gaining more attention among students and activists, although organised student protests are as yet lacking.
These calls for decolonising education, the curriculum, and the university system connect contemporary voices and struggles in the Netherlands and Belgium to other voices in the margins of academic institutions, both in the Global South and in the Global North, asking: ‘Why is my curriculum white? Why isn’t my professor black?’ [...]