Accepted paper:

When the miners are gone: Reclaiming spaces of extraction in (post)colonial Tanzania


Kai Roder (University of Leipzig)

Paper short abstract:

This paper elaborates, how processes of re- and de-territorialization as well as (dis-)enclaving have been shaped by different actors in the Tanzanian mining economy in (post)colonial times of transition.

Paper long abstract:

Mining activities on a larger scale and the required infrastructures in Tanzania have been in the hands of external actors for a long time. While Africans have shaped the mineral economy as contract workers (Lemelle 1986), interlocutors and government employees (Eckert 2006), many engaged in mining operations outside of the formal regulatory framework, but close to or on formally established mining sites. Hence, they also influenced processes of spatialization in multiple ways. This paper explores, how multiple actors (Africans, foreigners and the (post)colonial state) have shaped processes of re- and de-territorialization as well as (dis-)enclaving in times of transition. I will therefore focus on two main transitory periods - German to British colonial rule and British colonial rule to Tanganyikan independence - as well as cases of mine closures in between. Based on archival and literature work, I will discuss, how mining sites and accompanying infrastructures have been re-spatialized by different actors after being abandoned or seized and how these processes influenced the mining economy.

panel His18
Paving roads over well-trodden paths? The (dis-)use of everyday infrastructure from pre- to post-colonial Africa, 1800s to present