Diverging Memories: A comparative analysis of interpretations of the 1904-8 genocide in Namibia and the Majimaji War in Tanzania
This PhD project aims to comparatively analyse circumstances and consequences of interpretations of violence in post-colonial relationships, specifically in relation to the atrocities committed by the colonial government during the 1904-8 genocide in former German South West Africa (GSWA) and during the 1905-7 Majimaji War in former German East Africa (GEA). It asks how and why the post-independence interpretations of these histories differ (or else mirror each other) in Namibia and the Herero and Nama diasporas and in Tanzania, as well as what role their interpretations play in the starkly different international treatment of these histories. Additionally, it will ask whether and how narratives of historical events interrelate with different forms (or intensities) of civic and political engagement in relation to them. In this sense, this project would contribute to a greater understanding for the processes involved in the attribution of meaning to historical events and the consequences that these interpretations of violence can have for collective agency in local and in transnational arenas. Furthermore, this project promises to contribute to a growing public discourse on how to cope with the vast array of atrocities committed during colonialism in post-colonial relationships today.