ISBN 9783905758252
Pages 282
Dimensions 244 x 170 mm
Published 2012
Publisher Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia
Format Paperback

Naming the Land

San Identity and Community Conservation in Namibia's West Caprivi

by Julie J. Taylor

This book encompasses a history of identity-building amongst Khwe San people, and of contestations for authority over land and natural resources in Namibia's West Caprivi. The politics of authority in this contested borderland area were significantly shaped by state and NGO interventions into local institutions and land use between the late 1930s and 2006. Julie J. Taylor pays close attention to the role of NGOs in these processes. She shows that, in their relationship with West Caprivi's residents, NGOs unintentionally contributed towards the hardening and politicising of ethnic difference, including through the implementation of land mapping projects. At the same time, in their relationship with the state, NGOs often worked to "depoliticise" struggles over authority, thus inadvertently reinforcing the state's authority in the area.

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“Julie Taylor has written an extraordinary book about a distinctive part of southern Africa - a tongue of land between Angola and Botswana… an area on the political and economic margins of the subcontinent. Yet it has natural riches, not least wildlife. … This recent history of the Khwe, combining disciplines and extensive fieldwork, provides a wonderful window on the new struggles over land and nature.”

Professor William Beinart, Oxford University

About the Author

Julie J. Taylor

Julie J. Taylor obtained her doctorate from Oxford University for this study. She holds an MPhil in Development Studies, also from Oxford, and a BA (Hons) in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University. Her research on history, politics, identity and the environment in West Caprivi has been published in Journal of African History, African Studies, Geoforum, Cultural Survival Quarterly and Anthropology Today, amongst others. She currently heads Google’s Communications for Sub Saharan Africa, based in Johannesburg.

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