The Asian African Conference Of 1955

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The Asian-African Conference of 1955, known as the Bandung Conference, is the oft-eulogized birth place of the Third World. Robert Vitalis has called Bandung “the imagined birthplace of not one but two global ‘solidarities.’” The first is nonalignment, and the second is “an emerging ‘global racial consciousness’.” While Vitalis disproves these connections, seeking to portray the reality of the Bandung Conference, this dissertation finds the aura of myth which surrounds Bandung to be a useful device. Prominent figures in the Third World Project as well as academics have seen fit to retroactively grant Bandung a position of importance as the ancestor of a wide-reaching global movement. This dissertation therefore asks, what was Latin…show more content…
The ideological polarity between the United States and the Soviet Union cemented political and military alignments between countries who became the First World (led by the capitalist United States), and the Second World (led by the communist Soviet Union). As divisions formed and deepened between the First and Second Worlds, the other two-thirds of the planet, which came to be known as the Third World were determining their place both inside and outside of this conflict. The North had a history of imperialism in the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Although Latin American countries had been officially decolonized in the eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries, Asia and Africa continued as colonies until World War II left the colonizers too weak to maintain their colonies. As Asia and Africa were being decolonized, the First and Second Worlds began to perceive the Global South as an empty platform upon which to fight their “cold war” for global hegemony. As Odd Arne Westad points out, the Cold War was hardly cold in the Global South. In many cases it was bloody and violent. In 1947, all of the nations of Latin America signed the Rio Treaty (a military alliance similar to NATO), and were thus formally tied to the United States. Since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, the subsequent Roosevelt Corollary of 1904, and the signing of the Charter of the
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