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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Namibia's Past in the Present: Colonial Genocide and Liberation Struggle in Commemorative Narratives
Author:Melber, HenningISNI
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:national liberation struggles
political ideologies
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Abstract:The tendency towards glorification of the history of liberation warfare (which by implication is for a just cause) is an obvious symptom in Namibian society today. It plays a significant role in the current symbolism and rituals of the postcolonial political culture. This article explores, presents and comments upon some features of a political culture, which has evolved from a legacy of violence within the postcolonial nationbuilding discourse of the independent Republic of Namibia. In so doing, it tries to unravel some of the fundamental premises from which the current limits or distortions in the commemoration of the colonial genocide committed a century ago have arisen. There is a visible selectivity of themes on 'liberation politics' as well as the 'monopolization of the victim status' as documented by the political office bearers of the liberation movement now in power, on the one hand, and a dominant traditional leadership within the Herero on the other. These contrasting perceptions and their political-ideological results can be seen as historical, structural and ideological legacies of colonial rule, which has not yet been fully laid to rest. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]