HomeThe Fiftieth Anniversary of the African Independences: Marginalized, Forgotten, and Revived Political Actors

HomeThe Fiftieth Anniversary of the African Independences: Marginalized, Forgotten, and Revived Political Actors

The Fiftieth Anniversary of the African Independences: Marginalized, Forgotten, and Revived Political Actors

Cinquantenaire des indépendances africaines : acteurs politiques marginalisés, oubliés, ressuscités

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Published on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 by Élodie Faath

Summary

The fiftieth anniversary of the African Independence has been an occasion for the East African countries and their diasporas, the international academic community and the former colonial nations to assess the economic, social and political achievements and failures of the past fifty years. However, such inventories tend to focus on the upheavals of the social, economic and political structures, sometimes on the memory of the fathers of the nation and former grand nationalistic narratives, but usually overlook political actors, whether individual or collective, which were marginalized by the men in power during the early post-independent years.

Announcement

Argument

The fiftieth anniversary of the African Independence has been an occasion for the East African countries and their diasporas, the international academic community and the former colonial nations to assess the economic, social and political achievements and failures of the past fifty years. However, such inventories tend to focus on the upheavals of the social, economic and political structures, sometimes on the memory of the fathers of the nation and former grand nationalistic narratives, but usually overlook political actors, whether individual or collective, which were marginalized by the men in power during the early post-independent years. These political actors, however, played a crucial role during the anticolonial struggle and in the first years following Independence. Many examples exist: in Tanzania, the educated urban Muslim traders created the first anti-colonial associations and became one of the first interlocutors of the colonial powers during the negotiations that led to independence; Swahili women and trades unions or cooperatives organized themselves to found the first political parties in the region; and many prominent political figures were eventually sidelined, such as Oscar Kambona and Abdulrahman Babu in Tanzania, or even removed or eliminated from power, like Tom Mboya and Paul Murumbi in Kenya, or Paul Mirekano in Burundi. It is essential to focus on these political actors in the light of the commemorations of Independence considering that some of them have recently been re-appropriated and sometimes even totally resuscitated: the Muslims’ participation to Tanzania’s Independence brought about the rewriting of history, and built memorials or commemorative events have increasingly flourished to revive forgotten figures, as illustrated by the case of  Joseph Murumbi in Kenya.

This seminar, organized during the year of the fiftieth anniversary of Kenya’s Independence, aims at exploring these forgotten political trajectories now revived by intellectuals, politicians and the civil society. As shown for instance by the growing number of biographies recently published, the latter re-appropriate the formerly marginalized or sidelined actors and invest them with the capacity of embodying a third path during the struggle between capitalism and socialism, and even a new political morality in the current context of a crisis of political legitimacy and the demoralization of political life in Eastern Africa. Due to the resonance of their heritage and memory, these political actors of the first times of Independence constitute contemporary political languages that allow us to understand present-day political scenes in East Africa.

Submission guidelines

Kindly send your submission (a short bio and a 150-300 abstract) at seminars@ifra-nairobi.net

before June 15th 2013.

Scientific committee

  • Directeur de l’IFRA : actuellement Christian Thibon - histoire
  • Pensionnaire de l’IFRA : actuellement Marie-Aude Fouéré - anthropologie
  • Un membre du CS des UMIFRE : Hélène Roche - archéologie
  • Chris Musambayi (University of Nairobi) – sciences politiques & relations internationales
  • Mildred Ndeda (Kenyatta University)- histoire
  • Maurice Amutabi  (UECA) - sociologie
  • Burundi: Julien Nimubona (University of Burundi) – sciences politiques
  • Rwanda: Gaspard Gaparayi (Kigali Institute of Education) – anthropologie
  • Ouganda: Gidéon Rutaremwa (Makerere university) - démographie
  • Tanzanie: Bob Nakileza (Dar Es Salaam University) - géographie

Places

  • IFRA-BIEA Conference Room - Laikipia road, Kileleshwa
    Nairobi, Kenya

Date(s)

  • Saturday, June 15, 2013

Keywords

  • indépendances africaines, Afrique de l'Est, colonialisme, acteurs politiques marginalisés

Contact(s)

  • Colas Lemaire
    courriel : clemaire [at] ifra-nairobi [dot] net

Information source

  • Nairobi IFRA
    courriel : info [at] ifra-nairobi [dot] net

To cite this announcement

« The Fiftieth Anniversary of the African Independences: Marginalized, Forgotten, and Revived Political Actors », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, https://calenda.org/249873

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