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Sites of Contestation

Encounters with the Ernst and Ruth Dammann Collection in the Archives of the Basler Afrika Bibliographien

edited by Julia Rensing, Lorena Rizzo, Wanda Rutishauser

This book is a collection of essays written by emerging scholars at the University of Basel on the basis of their subjective encounters with a specific archival collection housed in the Basler Afrika Bibliographien in Basel. The Ernst and Ruth Dammann collection consists of around 8100 images, 750 audio recordings and numerous manuscripts, diaries and notes. The German couple conducted research on Namibian oral literatures and languages as they were spoken and performed across the country in the early 1950s. Based on in-depth engagement with the textual, visual and audio records assembled in this intricate collection, the authors of this book critically interrogated the implications of opening a colonial archive, exploring alternative ways of reading and understanding the historical material. As unique examples of close reading and listening, the essays propose creative ways of attending to the politics of race, gender, famine, ethnography, biography and fiction in colonial knowledge production.

ISBN 9783906927312 | 134 pages | 244 x 170mm | Colour Photographs | 2021 | Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia | Paperback

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