Current Institutional Affiliation
Senior Lecturer, Theatre Arts, University of Zimbabwe

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2018
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Drama Department, University of Cape Town
Chains of Memory in the Postcolony : Performing and Remembering the Namibian Genocide

This interdisciplinary project lies at the intersection of performance, memory and genocide studies. It uses performance analysis to investigate the postcolonial remembrance of the 1904-1908 German genocide in Namibia. This largely obscure unacknowledged genocide precedes the Holocaust by three decades and has been dubbed the first German genocide of the 20th century. The project uses Marianne Hirsch's (1992) post-memory concept to interogate the role of cultural performance in genocide remembrance and memorialisation in and outside of postcolonial Namibia. It examines how communities remember, transmit and challenge the memory of the genocide to investigate simmering racial and ethnic tensions around identity constructions and current structures of land ownership, distribution and reform. It suggests that these rising tensions expose the fragility of the nationalist state-building and reconciliation discourse adopted at independence in 1990. It argues that culture attains visibility through its representations and seeks to interrogate the politics of genocide denial, post-memory and acknowledgement activism.