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Spatializing (post)colonial practices and imaginaries in 1950s–1990s Southern Africa 
Ana Moledo (Research Centre Global Dynamics, Leipzig University)
Robin E. Möser (University of Potsdam)
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Ana Moledo (Research Centre Global Dynamics, Leipzig University)
Steffi Marung (Leipzig University)
Format :
Streams :
History (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This panel invites contributions putting an emphasis on space and space-making as an analytical lens to analyze political, social and cultural changes in the region during the second half of the 20th century and its reverberations in the construction of (postcolonial/post-Apartheid) futures.

Long Abstract:

Southern Africa lived through a period of intense conflict and transformation during the second half of the 20th century. While the rest of Africa moved at a steady pace towards an independent future, the southern part of the continent experienced liberation wars, racial segregation as a result of white-minority rule, and power struggles that were significantly shaped by Cold War transnational dynamics and interventions. Scholars have devoted increasing attention to the political, social and economic aspects of the Portuguese colonial empire’s collapse, the settler states of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, and, more generally, regional processes of decolonization. Drawing on this rich body of literature, this panel seeks to shed light on the underresearched spatial dimensions of these transformations. Controlling and (re-)making space were prominent features in the different political projects led by actors within the region. This includes Pretoria’s spatialization of regional security (i.e. buffer zones) and racial segregation (i.e. Bantustans); FRELIMO’s liberated zones; refugee and training camps led by various nationalist movements in exile (e.g. SWAPO camps in Zambia and Angola) as well as big infrastructure projects designed by colonial powers (e.g. Cahora-Bassa dam). We argue that a better understanding of the space-making practices and imaginaries of actors at the local, national and the regional levels helps us in grasping the diverse futures at stake, how they emerged, materialized and/or failed. Besides purely historical contributions, we invite papers analyzing longer periodizations or that attempt at comparing past and current spatial initiatives (development corridors, infrastructures, etc.)

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -