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National Liberation in Postcolonial Southern Africa
A Historical Ethnography of SWAPO's Exile Camps

Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107099340


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About the Authors
  • This book traces the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) across its three decades in exile through rich, local histories of the camps where Namibian exiles lived in Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola. Christian A. Williams highlights how different Namibians experienced these sites, as well as the tensions that developed within SWAPO as Namibians encountered one another and as officials asserted their power and protected their interests within a national community. The book then follows Namibians who lived in exile into post-colonial Namibia, examining the extent to which divisions and hierarchies that emerged in the camps continue to shape how Namibians relate to one another today, undermining the more just and humane society that many had imagined. In developing these points about SWAPO, the book draws attention to Southern African literature more widely, suggesting parallels across the region and defining a field of study that examines post-colonial Africa through 'the camp'.

    • Offers the first full-length scholarly monograph on SWAPO and Namibians in exile
    • Traces connections across the periods of anti-colonial resistance and post-colonial independence
    • Models an historical ethnography of exile camps
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107099340
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 7 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Camp, Nation, History:
    1. Liberation movement camps and the past of the present in Southern Africa
    2. Revisiting an image of a camp: remember Cassinga?
    Part II. Camps and the Formation of a Nation:
    3. Living in exile: life and crisis at SWAPO's Kongwa Camp, 1964–8
    4. Ordering the nation: SWAPO in Zambia, 1974–6
    5. 'The spy' and the camp: SWAPO in Angola, 1980–9
    Part III. Camps and the Production of History:
    6. Namibia's 'Wall of Silence': challenging national history in the international system
    7. Reconciliation in Namibia? Narrating the past in a post-camp nation
    8. The camp and the post-colony.

  • Author

    Christian A. Williams, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
    Christian A. Williams is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State.

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