Beyond Collective Memory

Structural Complicity and Future Freedoms in Senegalese and South African Narratives

Beyond Collective Memory analyzes how two African places became icons of collective memory for certain publics, yet remain marginal to national and continental memory discourses. Thiaroye, a Senegalese location of colonial-era massacre, and District Six, a South African neighborhood destroyed under apartheid, have epitomized a shared "memory" of racist violence and resistant community. Les mer
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Beyond Collective Memory analyzes how two African places became icons of collective memory for certain publics, yet remain marginal to national and continental memory discourses. Thiaroye, a Senegalese location of colonial-era massacre, and District Six, a South African neighborhood destroyed under apartheid, have epitomized a shared "memory" of racist violence and resistant community. Analyzing diverse cultural texts surrounding both places, this book argues that the metaphor of collective memory has obscured the structural character of colonial and apartheid violence, and made it difficult to explore the complicit positions that structures of violence produce. In investigating the elisions of memory discourses, Beyond Collective Memory challenges the dominance of collective memory, and calls attention to the African pasts, metaphors, and imaginaries that exist beyond it.

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