Settler mimicry: Colonization and decolonization through imitation

Anzi, Achia (2024) Settler mimicry: Colonization and decolonization through imitation. Palestine/Israel Review, 1 (1). ISSN 2834-4324

[thumbnail of pir.1.1.0007.pdf] Text
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (5MB)


This article explores the dynamics of settler mimicry in Israel—Palestine and its manifestations in the visual arts. It probes the operation of mimicry as a colonial strategy but also emphasizes its decolonial potential. Although imitation of the Palestinian natives enables Israeli settlers to annex the territory, this article suggests that mimicry can be delinked from its colonial registers and transform the settlers’ worldview. This analysis seeks to expand the insights of Patrick Wolfe, who saw the elimination of the natives as the central feature of settler colonialism. By highlighting instances in which the settler mimics the native, this article challenges his reductionist framework, which pins colonial projects to their materialist objectives. Whereas exploitation colonialism uses the colony’s resources, Wolfe contends, settler colonialism is geared toward the seizure of land, and hence toward physical and ideological elimination of the native. This article, on the other hand, emphasizes the complexity of settler colonialism and foregrounds the tension between the cultural apparatuses of elimination and mimicry. While imitation facilitates the indigenization of settlers, it also highlights the presence of natives. This internal tension renders the operation of settler colonialism ambiguous and thus can be utilized to decolonize Zionism.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Settler colonialism | Settler mimicry | Decolonization | Israeli art | Israeli visual culture
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Arts and Humanities > Literature and Literary Theory
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2024 06:07
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2024 06:07
Official URL:


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item