1st Edition

Monuments and Memory in Africa Reflections on Coloniality and Decoloniality

Edited By John Sodiq Sanni, Madalitso Zililo Phiri Copyright 2024
    182 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates how monuments have been used in Africa as tools of oppression and dominance, from the colonial period up to the present day.

    The book asks what the decolonisation of historical monuments and geographies might entail and how this could contribute to the creation of a post-imperial world. In recent times, African movements to overthrow the symbols and monuments of the colonial era have gathered pace as a means of renaming, reclassifying, and reimagining colonial identities and spaces. Movements such as #RhodesMustFall in South Africa have sprung up around the world, connected by a history of Black life struggles, erasures, oppression, suppression, and the depression of Black biopolitics. This book provides an important multidisciplinary intervention in the discourse on monuments and memories, asking what they are, what they have been used to represent, and ultimately what they can reveal about past and present forms of pain and oppression.

    Drawing on insights from philosophy, historical sociology, politics, museum, and literary studies, this book will be of interest to a range of scholars with an interest in the decolonisation of global African history.

    Introduction: Monuments and Memory in Africa: Reflections on Coloniality and Decoloniality

    John Sodiq Sanni & Madalito Zililo Phiri

    1. The Ideology of Epistemicide

    Madalitso Z. Phiri

    2. Genophilia - Genosites in Cape Town

    Fazil Moradi

    3. Monuments and Invisibility: Reclaiming Spaces of Colonial Transcendence

    John S. Sanni

    4. Irreconcilable Differences: The Statue Debate and Transitional Justice Discourse

    Keolebogile Mbebe

     5. Monumental Transformations and the Re-Membering of Meaning

    Minka Woermann

    6. (Im)possible monuments? Gukurahundi and the politics of memorialisation in Zimbabwe

    Gibson Ncube

    7. Colonial and Apartheid Legacy: Social, Economic and Political Inequality in South Africa

    Frank A. Abumere

    8. The Destruction of Historical Monuments and the Danger of Sanitising History

    John S. Sanni


    John Sodiq Sanni is Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

    Madalitso Zililo Phiri is Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand’s South Africa United Kingdom Bilateral Chair in Political Theory (Political Studies), and A.G. Leventis visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Centre of African Studies, United Kingdom.