In the Belgian cartoonist Hergés Tintin in the Congo (1931) Tintin is a reporter sent to the Belgian colony Congo to report on events in the country. A critical postcolonial reading of the comic reveals a multitude of colonial discourses which creates a clear distinction between the natives and the western subject, a hierarchically dichotomy where the native is more an object than a human subject. This can be read as a proof of how the posthuman always have been with us, in the construction of the “other.”
The above comprehension of the natives and the corresponding way to treat them, aroused the first early signs of a human rights organisation back in Europe and the question of care. As Hannah Arendt later wrote: “the fact that people must be actively judged human to enjoy the benefits associated with such title.” The quote expresses how humanism is a dividing category, in the current situation excluding the native but also the in-, non- and posthuman when read with posthumanistic eyes.
The critical posthuman reading in Herbrecter and Calus optics, opens in this way up, how humanism is inherent exclusionary an must be deconstructed and reconstructed in a expanded form with space to diversity. Its a question about who we care for, as they write in the text What is i posthumanist reading?: “it might emerge that posthumanism is actually not only quite a caring paradigm after all but also a paradigm for care.” (109)
Herbrechter, Stefan and Ivan Callus, “What is a Posthumanist Reading?” Angelaki 13.1 (2008)95-11.