AbstractThe purpose of this article is to outline certain options and struggles, which gave rise to postcolonial theory. The author deals with various experiences of anti-slavery and anti-colonial movements in Western and tricontinental countries, comprising the development of postcolonial theory. It is argued that postcolonial theory provides a means of defiance by which any exploitative and discriminative practices, regardless of time and space, can be challenged. The article consists of a section in which terminology is clarified, secondly a discussion of the elements that functioned asjustification of the formation of postcolonial theory, namely a humanitarian, economic, political, and religious justification. The role of feminism and anti-colonialism is discussed in the third instance, followed by a reflection on the concept “hybrid identities”.