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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Special theme section: the politics and aesthetics of commemoration: national days in southern Africa
Editors:Becker, Heike
Lentz, CarolaISNI
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 2332-3264)
Geographic terms:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
South Africa
nation building
State-society relationship
Abstract:The contributions to the special section in this issue of Anthropology Southern Africa study recent independence celebrations and other national days in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The five case studies explore the role of national days in State-making and nation-building, and examine the performativity of nationalism and the role of performances in national festivities: Public holidays as 'lieux de mémoire': nation-building and the politics of public memory in South Africa (Sabine Marschall); 'Zimbabwe will never be a colony again': changing celebratory styles and meanings of independence (Wendy Willems); From 'One Namibia, One Nation' towards 'Unity in Diversity'? Shifting representations of culture and nationhood in Namibian Independence Day celebrations, 1990-2010 (Michael Uusiku Akuupa, Godwin Kornes); National days between commemoration and celebration: remembering 1947 and 1960 in Madagascar (Mareike Späth, Helihanta Rajaonarison); The drama(s) of Independence Day: reflections on political affects and aesthetics in Kinshasa (Katrien Pype). Heike Becker and Carola Lentz, in an introductory article, place the case studies in a broader, comparative perspective. They first discuss the role of the State in national celebrations, highlighting three themes: firstly, the political power-play and contested politics of memory involved in the creation of a country's festive calendar; secondly, the relationship between State control of national days and civic or popular participation or contestation; and, thirdly, the complex relationship between regional and ethnic loyalties and national identifications. They then turn to the role of performance and aesthetics in the making of nations in general, and in national celebrations in particular. Finally, they look at the different formats and meanings of national days in the region and address the question of whether there is anything specific about national days in southern Africa as compared to other parts of the continent or national celebrations world-wide. Bibliogr., noten, samenv[ASC Leiden abstract]