Fictioning Namibia as a Space of Desire
296 pages

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Modern-day Namibian history has largely been shaped by three major eras: German colonial rule, South African apartheid occupation, and the Liberation Struggle. It was, however, not only military conquest that laid the cornerstone for the colony, but also how the colony was imagined, the “dream” of this colony. As a tool of discursive worldmaking, literature has played a major role in providing a framework in which to “dream” Namibia, first from outside its borders, and then from within. In Fictioning Namibia as a Space of Desire, Renzo Baas employs Henri Lefebvre‘s city-countryside dialectic and reworks it in order to uncover how fictional texts played an integral part in the violent acquisition of a foreign territory.
Through the production of myths around whiteness, German and South African authors designed a literary space in which control, destruction, and the dehumanisation of African peoples are understood as a natural order, one that is dictated by history and its linear continuation. These European texts are offset by Namibia’s first novel by an African, offering a counter-narrative to the colonial invention that was (German) South West Africa.



Publié par
Date de parution 25 février 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9783906927091
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 7 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Fictioning Namibia as a Space of Desire
Renzo Baas
Fictioning Namibia as a Space of Desire An Excursion into the Literary Space of Namibia During Colonialism, Apartheid and the Liberation Struggle
Basler Afrika Bibliograpien 2019
©2019 he autor ©2019 Basler Afrika Bibliograpien
Basler Afrika Bibliograpien Namibia Resource Centre & Soutern Africa Library Klosterberg 23 PO Box 2037 CH-4051 Basel Switzerland www.baslerafrika.c
All rigts reserved.
Cover poto: he Unknown Soldier at Heroes’ Acre; source: Namibian Tourism Board
ISBN 978-3-906927-08-4 ISSN 2296-6986
1 Introduction Producing Certain Spaces Literature on and about Namibia Literature List Terms and Conditions Looking Forward
2 Social and Literary Space From Relative to Social Space he Social Space of Henri Lefebvre Social Space and Literary Space
3 he Colonial Era: War, Toil, and Diamonds Introduction to te Texts Emptied Landscapes he Garden heWiteFemale Colonialist
4 he Aparteid Era: he Trust in Maps and Guns Introduction to te Texts Emptied Landscapes (?) Tecnologies of Conquest and Domination (De)Constructing teWiteMale Explorer
5 he Namibian Moment: Learning to Sing Introduction to te Text Main Spaces of te Narrative Resistance and Disobedience he Resistance of One, te Resistance of Many Merging te Past, Present, and Future
6 Conclusion Producing te ‘Oter’ (and oneself ) A Colonial Network of Spaces and Strategies
1 2 4 16 22 31
35 41 56 73
85 93 98 122 136
152 161 170 179 188
196 197 201 218 235 239
247 249 256
he Metropole in Crisis A Root of te Metropolitan Crisis Monologic and Dialogic Narratives
258 263 266
As any doctoral student can confirm, it is no easy task to start and finis a PD. It takes time and preparation, additions and subtractions, new influences and ideas. It takes de-dication, a will to finis. All of tese tings don’t come by temselves, or overnigt, or in te last sip of te midnigt espresso. hey come from te people you spend time wit, te people you love, te people wo decided – sometimes against teir better judgement – to join you on your journey of late nigts, late mornings, stressed meetings, and missed deadlines. Borrowed-and-never-returned books. Opened-and-sared wines. he great ideas tat did not make it into te final version. he regrets tereof. he sweat on te day of submission. It‘s all wort it wen te tesis becomes a book you can old. Wen it becomes a way of saying tank you to everyone tat elped along te way wo made te book wat it is. To Henri and Karim Gunkel, wo are my motivation, my inspiration, and my ap-piness. You make me want to cange myself and te world for te better, to imagine, to dream. You make me realise ow lucky and fortunate I am. I cannot imagine my life witout you. To Prof. Susan Arndt, wo as been tere to elp me tink, elp me improve as a person, elp me grow witin tis crazy world. You are an amazing scolar wit so muc to give and sare. Know tat tere are countless people wo appreciate ow beautiful you are. To Prof. Lindy Stiebel, for te guidance, te kindness, and for always backing me. Your encouraging words kept me going and got me out of numerous slumps. To Dr. Dag Henricsen, wo as given me a new appreciation for my ome country, wo as continually sown me Namibia’s complexities, and its beauty. To BIGSAS wo decided to take a cance on me by providing me wit a full scolar-sip. Witout your extraordinary financial, administrative, and intellectual support, tis book would not ave been possible. hank you also to te BIGSAS community – PD candidates, alumni, te administrative staff, te Senior Researcers – wic is always warm and welcoming. To my parents, Werner and Ingrid Baas, wo ave continually backed me in all my adventures and endeavours. You are te ome I can always come back to. To Hans and Rut Brenner, as well as Micael Brenner and Melissa Scäfer, for being my family away from ome. You made difficult winters manageable and you were a con-stant inspiration for my work and a positive influence on my world view.
To Pilipp, Laura, Vincent, Carmen, René, Stefan, Lukas, horsten, and Mattias. Witout you, Bayreut would not ave been wat is was. You made it enjoyable and livable, a place I could also call ‘ome’. To Petra Kerckoff at te Basler Afrika Bibliograpien, wo as been te embodiment of patience and cooperation. I am grateful to you and te BAB for giving me te oppor-tunity to publis my tesis wit you. To te Sam Coen Library for te valuable resources and researc material I could access and integrate into my book. To te Namibian National Arcives for your unlimited patience in locating all te maps, texts, and documents tat I needed for my work. To te University of KwaZulu Natal for offering me te Postdoctoral Fellowsip, wic gave me te time and space to finalise tis book.
1 Introduction
hen-president of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, declared in is speec at te inauguration of Heroes’ Acre in Windoek in 2005: “we are writing te istory of our country from our own perspective and troug our own suffering and sacrifices. he time wen colonisers 1 distorted our istory is now gone forever” . his powerful assertion of writing one’s own istory is a strong reflection of postcolonial moments in wic time and space are recon-figured to reflect local temporal and spatial regimes. hese regimes, violently resaped in order to serve European expansionist and imperialist ambitions, are being reactivated in a number of contexts. In Namibia, for example, tis as taken te form of a national and symbolic cemetery. Included in te cemetery are a number of anti-colonial as well as anti-aparteid leaders and personalities taken from te larger Namibian societies of te Nama, te Herero, and te Owambo. Symbolic graves of elites suc as te Nama 2 3 kapteinHendrik Witbooi, HereroomuonaSamuel Maarero, and te Kwanyama king, Mandume Ndemufayo, amongst oters, are to be found witin te bounds of te Acre. A 4 larger-tan-life statue of te “Unnamed Soldier” involved in te liberation struggle and armed wit gun and grenade stands watc over tese istoric Namibian personalities. he incorporation of non-elites also speaks to te involvement of ‘ordinary’ Namibians in te efforts for independence and self-rule, as te inclusion of Kakurukaze Mungunda exem-plifies. Heroes’ Acre tus amalgamates various communities, istorical eras, and persons of different socio-cultural standing. Heroes’ Acre signifies a unified effort for self-governance, evident troug te collec-tion of a number of relevant personalities wo eac fougt for tis rigt. he sizable tract of land set aside for tis monument outside of Windoek is testament to te Namibian government’s efforts to onour and maintain te memory of tose wo gave teir lives in te pursuit of a life free from te terrors wic foreign rule inflicted. he ecoes of tese sacrifices are palpable today still, wen one considers te genocide committed against te Herero and Nama by te German colonial forces, one of te most defining moments in Namibian istory and a moment tat stretces from 1904 into te present. he Old
3 4
his and all subsequent quotes are taken from “Statement By His Excellency President Sam Nujoma On he Occasion Of he Official Inauguration Of Heroes’ Acre 26 August 2002” Kapteinis te term given to te leaders of Namakommandos(te mounted military division of a ‘na-tion’). hekapteinresponsible for administrative, judicial, and social issues for eac ‘nation’ (sub- is groupings of te larger Nama society). he word is an Afrikaans expression meaning “captain”. Omuonais te Herero term for a traditional autority, meaning ‘Big Man’. Altoug named as suc, te statue bears a very strong resemblance to ex-President Dr Sam Nujoma.
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