This panel will analyze memorials and monuments constructed by governments in Angola and Namibia. We explore the messaging of several important monuments built before and since independence.
This panel will analyze memorials and monuments constructed by governments in Angola and Namibia. Since the gradual and contested decolonization of the region, governments have responded in a variety of ways to colonial-era memorials and monuments. For example, in Angola, the post-colonial government removed virtually all of the former regime's monuments; whereas in South Africa, the democratic government left in place most monuments. Governments also constructed new monuments to commemorate the independence struggle and celebrate new nationalist narratives. Yet, this new era of memorialization left some out. In this panel, we explore the messaging of several important monuments built before and since independence. Some of the questions we will consider include: What are the ramifications of leaving colonial and apartheid-era monuments standing? What narratives do new commemorative projects tell us about postcolonial nationalism? How successful are commemorative monuments and memorials in sanctifying official narratives about the nation? How do groups left out of official commemorations create alternative spaces and practices for commemoration? To what extent do official commemorations speak to generations born after independence?