Tag Archives | African history

Power, Silence and the Production of History in Africa-24 May 2018

The production of history is a process of power. This is particularly relevant in Africa, where during both the colonial and the post-colonial era history has been written by hegemonic regimes. This historiography has in turn (re-)produced structures of domination, social exclusion and division. Moreover, it has obscured the diversity of histories, narratives, spatial geographies that are at play. This in turn raises questions about how we can understand enduring and recurring cycles of conflict on the African continent not only as a result of historic contingency, but also as an outcome of the politics of writing African histories. The African continent is therefore a particular rich context in which to examine the production of history and its relation to power. To grasp the workings of the structures of power that are created through historic production we’re interested in what history means for people themselves in Africa – both the rulers and the ruled, the hegemonic and marginalised, elites and subalterns – and how they act and have acted upon it. As Trouillot (1995) has argued, in the production of history people are simultaneously involved as agents that produce historic narratives and as actors of the events they narrate. History […]

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Meike de Goede  is a lecturer in African History & Anthropology at the Leiden University Institute for History. She works on silenced history and memory in Congo-Brazzaville and former French Equatorial Africa. This paper is based on interviews with witnesses in Congo-Brazzaville and archival research in the Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer, Aix-en-Provence.   Just before the Presidential elections of June 1959, several Matsouanist leaders, a religious-political movement, were rounded up from their homes in Brazzaville’s townships of Poto Poto and Bacongo and taken to an empty factory building in M’Pila. In the weeks following, the youth wing of UDDIA, a political party, launched a violent campaign against the Matsouanists because they refused to support Fulbert Youlou, the leader of UDDIA. Many Matsouanists sought refuge in the factory building as well. On the early morning of 29 July 1959 the Matsouanists were put on transport to places far away from the native land of the Lari, the ethnic group to which the Matsouanists belonged. The process of deportation was chaotic and violent; 35 people died and at least 100 were injured. Only in 1965, after the toppling of Youlou’s regime, were the Matsouanists granted amnesty so they could return home.   The Matsouanists were followers […]

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