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This project is the result of the Humboldt University of Berlin Bologna Lab Course ‘”Little Research Value”? : Seeking to understand migrant labor’s past and how it affects the present’. This website presents various interviews we conducted with Students, Professors and Academics in Namibia and Zimbabwe. We hope that these interviews might be helpful in better understanding the intersection between archives, history and modern society in Southern Africa.

Featured background piece ‘Africa Unite’ by the Namibian artist Actofel Llovu
Support and follow him on Instagram @actofelilovu

Read, listen or watch the full individual interview relating critical approaches towards colonial sources and colonial legacy, global power dynamics and many more exiting topics


Dr. Zvinashe Mamvura

#peopleaslivingarchives #villageprofessors #languages&power #Linguistics #AfricanLanguages #language&identitypolitics #languageecologies #Zimbabweanlanguages #Shona #Ndebele Dr. Zvinashe Mamvura is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of African Studies at the Chair of African Linguistics and Languages of the Humboldt University Berlin. His current research topic “Collective Memory in Zimbabwe: A Toponomastic Perspective” deals with the interconnectionsContinue reading “Dr. Zvinashe Mamvura”

Dr. Jeremy Silvester

#FrameworkOfTheColonialGovernment #TheChallengeOfColonalityIsThatItsNotVisible #ReadAgainstTheGrain #InternationalExchange Dr. Jeremy Sylvester is the director of the Museums Association of Namibia (MAN). He gained extensive experience working with colonial records through his involvement in the Namibian anti-apartheid movement and his work at MAN as well as UNAM. As a British immigrant to Namibia, he comes from a significantly different backgroundContinue reading “Dr. Jeremy Silvester”

Michael Mhindu

#ImportanceOfEducation #ColonialEconomicLegacy #ClimateAndRace #PoliticsOfLandOwnership #HistoryAsEssential Michael Mhindu has been educated both in Zimbabwe and the former colonizing country, England. He is very engaged in local and global politics and one of his current interests for personal research is the history of land usage and the colonial legacy in Zimbabwe. Having lived in Zimbabwe, South Africa,Continue reading “Michael Mhindu”

Dr. Ushehwedu (Ushe) Kufakurinani

#EconomicHistory #Women’sHistory #ZimbabweanAcademia #IndigenousAfricanLanguages #HistoryAsATool #DecolonizingEducation #RecordingModernHistory #SocialMediaAsTheArchiveOfOurDay Dr. Ushehwedu (Ushe) Kufakurinani’s work bridges an unique divide as a Zimbabwean scholar who is an economic historian with focus on women’s colonial history and background in the Zimbabwean tradition of looking at the social elements of economic history. He thinks it is important when looking atContinue reading “Dr. Ushehwedu (Ushe) Kufakurinani”

Sylvanus Job

#Linguistics #AfricanLanguages #KhoiKhoi #DamaraPerspectives #MissionaryRecords #ScientificLanguagesAsABarrierToLocalUse #GermanColonialism #NamibianEthnicAndLinguisticDiversity #CollaborationAcrossUniversities  Sylvanus Job has an educational background both in the local Namibian education system from primary to his Bachelors, at University of Namibia, as well as receiving his Masters and his current doctoral work in Germany at Humboldt University. This education spanning both the global south andContinue reading “Sylvanus Job”

Sibongile Mauye

#Gender #ColonialZimbabwe #GenderBasedViolence #Activism #PersonalHistory #Colonialism #HistoryInZimbabwe #OralResearch #CollaborationBetweenEuropeanAndAfricanScholars #CollaborationAcrossUniversities #AcademicEnvironmentInZimbabwe  Sibongile Mauye has a both a personal and an academically approach when it comes to dealing with colonial history, which led to an interview both infomative and touching. Currently working on her thesis concerning the socioeconomic history of gender based violence in colonial Zimbabwe,Continue reading “Sibongile Mauye”

Saima Ashipala

#BalanceAndObjectivity #AcceptanceOfThePast #ParallelSocieties #ImportanceOfRemembrance In Saima Ashipala’s work on the mining history of Namibia, she has partaken mostly in archival research instead of directly engaging with colonial records. Nonetheless, she notes that even this has led her to encounter elements of interaction with colonial administrations in the areas of labour and education. Although she acknowledgesContinue reading “Saima Ashipala”

Olsen Sijunda

#AdvantagesAndDisadvantages #Languages #HighSchoolHistoryLessons #NamibianStreetNames #BlackLivesMatterMovement As an economics student Olsen Sijunda hasn’t had much direct contact with questions concerning colonial records, however the interview instead focused on the linguistic legacy of colonialism in the classroom, and the teaching of history in Namibia. Particularly interesting here is the fact that the discussion focused some on theContinue reading “Olsen Sijunda”

Bayron Van Wyk

 #GermanColonialHistory #IndependenceGermany #WesternCape #Namibia #GermanGenocide #Herero #Namas #Damara #EthnicTensionsToday #DigitalLibraries #GermanSources #TranslateGermanSources Bayron van Wyk reflects about major ethnic tensions in present-day Namibia , which function as a constant remainder of the German colonial rule. Hardly addressed it is often overshadowed by the South African liberation struggles. Modern digital libraries offer great benefits however a bigContinue reading “Bayron Van Wyk”

Brian Ngwenya

#PerpetuationOfPowerDynamics #PolitizedHistories #RacialBiasesInArchives #PaucityOfSources #IdentityConstructionUnderColonialRule #ResourceDiscrepanciesWithinAcademia #InternationalScholarNetworks #InternationalExchange Throughout the interview Brian Ngwenya illustrates his investigations towards the “self-understandings” and “situated subjectivities” of the African police forces and the extrinsic identity construction under colonial rule and post-independence (between 1960-90s) in Zimbabwe. From a sociocultural perspective he highlights the hierarchy of representation within historiography (Who isContinue reading “Brian Ngwenya”

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