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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:War and Identity in Angola: Two Case-Studies
Author:Brinkman, IngeISNI
Geographic term:Angola
civil wars
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Abstract:This essay studies the links between various categories of identity and the processes by which such categories may change. Two case studies, one dealing with northern Angola and the other with southeastern Angola, are presented. The first case study shows that references to ethnicity do not imply unquestioning unity: even if seen as a unified group by others, the 'Bakongo' continue to be divided along many lines. Ethnic, local and national identities have become intertwined. Luanda/Angola is placed in opposition to Bakongo/Zaire. This dichotomy is in turn related to political and racial oppositions. The second case study shows that changes in identity politics do not only occur in the realm of ethnic identity. Refugees from southeastern Angola in Rundu (Namibia) see the Angolan civil war in terms of an opposition between 'people from town' and 'people from the bush'. This dichotomy is increasingly connected with violence, torture and mutilation. A process of essentialization started, by which townspeople and bush people were attributed specific characteristics. In this second case study, identity is inextricably linked to landscape and mobility. Notes, ref., sum. in French, Portuguese and English (p. 553-554). [Journal abstract]