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National Culture in Post-Apartheid Namibia

State-sponsored Cultural Festivals and their Histories

by Michael Akuupa

National Culture in Post-Apartheid Namibia addresses the challenges of creating a 'national' culture in the context of a historical legacy that has emphasised ethnic diversity. The state-sponsored Annual National Culture Festival (ANCF) focuses on the Kavango region in north-eastern Namibia. Akuupa critically examines the notion of Kavango-ness as a colonial construct and its subsequent reconstitution and appropriation. He analyses the way in which cultural representations are produced by local people in the postcolonial African context of nation building and national reconciliation by bringing visions of cosmopolitanism and modernity into critical dialogue with the colonial past. Competing cultural festivals are used as celebratory social spaces in which performers and local people participate whilst negotiating a sense of national belonging in an ongoing tension between the need to celebrate diversity, yet strive for unity. This is the first study to discuss the comprehensive role played by those cultural festivals, which were organised in the ethnic homelands during the time Namibia fell under South African control.

ISBN 9783905758429 | 242 pages | 244 x 170 mm | 2015 | Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia | Paperback

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