P133
Towns build around and on concentration camps: The War in German Southwest-Africa and its urban trajectories

Convenors:
Dag Henrichsen (Basler Afrika Bibliographien)
Format:
Panels
Location:
KH209
Start time:
1 July, 2017 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

The genocidal wars in German Southwest-Africa from 1904 onwards saw the rapid construction of concentration and military camps in or close to emerging towns, leading to the emergence of a particular urban landscape and first urban identities in Namibia.

Long abstract:

The genocidal wars in German Southwest-Africa from 1904 onwards saw the rapid construction of concentration camps and other prisoner-of-war and labour camps, apart from colonial military camps. They were often build in or close to emerging towns and settlements and in close proximity to each other, displaying a bewildering network of infrastructures, economies and relationships. Population figures exploded rapidly and at times dropped sharply again after a few years. Detailed everyday histories of these camps remain scarce as are histories on the very uneven urbanisation processes which grew out of the (shifting) camp/settlement networks. African and settler histories tend to pin their urban roots and claims down to these years of violence and survival, planning and boom. This panel invites (comparative) presentations and discussion on these key issues which arguably underpinned the emergence of a particular urban landscape in central and southern Namibia.