The 'haunting' and the 'haunted' : whiteness, orthography and the (post)-Apartheid condition in Namibia
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In this paper I contend that a project of recovering one's ethnographic archive can engender not only a process of reflexivity, including on one's positionality, but also offer a heuristic device for exploring wider ethnographic issues. In starting with a reflection on my position as a white male researcher in Namibia, I focus my analysis to a broader exploration of whiteness in Namibia, and the enduring presence of apartheid in the (post)-apartheid era. In building on Tina Campt's haptic, I confront my own nostalgia and hauntings which emerged during the course of retrieving the orphaned ethnographic archive. In the process, I made space for making sense of the nostalgia and hauntings of other whites in Namibia, and more broadly, for exploring the relationship between whiteness and the (post)-apartheid condition. Further, I argue that a new vocabulary and orthography are needed for engaging with the (post)-apartheid condition. In traversing it as a series of puncta, I explore the complex interrelationship between whiteness’ hauntings – its historical claims on people, space and time – and the ways in which apartheid's traces continue to haunt whiteness in the (post)-apartheid period. Haunting and haunted, I argued that white people's experiences, narratives and perceptions in Namibia are characterized by historical inequalities and privilege, as well as a sense of dislocation and dispossession. Ultimately, it is my belief that, as noted earlier, (post)-apartheid must be viewed as a condition that does not yet fully exist, but can only be desired, being understood as deferred.
Fumanti , M 2021 , ' The 'haunting' and the 'haunted' : whiteness, orthography and the (post)-Apartheid condition in Namibia ' , History and Anthropology , vol. Latest Articles . https://doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2021.1933966
History and Anthropology
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