Sons and Daughters of the Soil: Land and Boundary Conflicts in North West Cameroon, 1955-2005

African Books Collective
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This book makes a rare and original contribution on the history of little documented internal land conflicts and boundary misunderstandings in Cameroon, where attention has tended to focus too narrowly on international boundary conflicts such as that between Cameroon and Nigeria. The study is of the Bamenda Grassfields, the region most plagued by land and boundary conflicts in the country. Despite claims of common descent and cultural similarities by most communities in the region, relations have been tested and dominated by recurrent land and boundary conflicts since the middle of the 20th Century. Nkwi takes us through these contradictions, as he draws empirically and in general on his rich historical and ethnographic knowledge of the tensions and conflicts over land and boundaries in the region to situate and understand the conflicts between Bambili and Babanki-Tungoh - the epicenter of land and boundary - from c.1950s - 2009. Little if any scholarly attention has focused on this all important issue, its pernicious effects on the region notwithstanding. This book takes a bold step in the direction of the social history of land and boundary conflicts in Cameroon, and demonstrates that there is much of scholarly interest in understanding the centrality of land and boundaries in the configuration and contestation of human relations. In his innovative and stimulating blend of history and ethnography, Nkwi points to exciting new directions of paying closer attention to relationships informed by consciousness on and around land and boundaries.
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Additional Information

Publisher
African Books Collective
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Published on
Dec 31, 2011
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Pages
230
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ISBN
9789956578924
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Africa / Central
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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"Walter Nkwi is one of the first Cameroonian historians to have made an interesting attempt to give the voiceless a voice in national historiography. And, perhaps even more importantly, in doing so he has been able to make an exceptional and excellent contribution to various current debates in African Studies, including the nations of civil society, the politics of belonging, and boundaries".-Piet konings, author, Neoliberal Bandwagonism: Civil Society and the Politics of Belonging in Anglophone Cameroon

The history of the subalterns, also known as the history of the voiceless, took currency in the early 1980s in South East Asia and has been dominated by scholars from that region. Despite its popularity, the history of the voiceless has not gained the attention it deserves in Cameroon historiography. In other parts of Africa and beyond this type of history has already taken root and animated scholarly production and debate. Cameroon history has been replete with studies that focus mostly on political history and the actions and intentions of top politicians of the day, with scant regard for the historical importance of the everyday life of ordinary Cameroonians as makers and breakers. This book takes a bold step in the direction of subaltern studies in Cameroon, and makes a clarion call for the institutionalization of voicing the voiceless. Nkwi - innovative and stimulating in his blend of history and ethnography of the everyday - offers fresh insights into the contextual understandings of subaltern Cameroon between 1958 and 2009. This is a welcome contribution to closing gaps in social history, from a leader amongst a budding new generation of historians of Cameroon and Africa.
An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity.

This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title.

With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa.

Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity.

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

In April-May 1994, 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis were massacred by their Hutu fellow citizens--about 10,000 a day, mostly being hacked to death by machete. In Machete Season, the veteran foreign correspondent Jean Hatzfeld reports on the results of his interviews with nine of the Hutu killers. They were all friends who came from a single region where they helped to kill 50,000 out of their 59,000 Tutsi neighbors, and all of them are now in prison, some awaiting execution. It is usually presumed that killers will not tell the truth about their brutal actions, but Hatzfeld elicited extraordinary testimony from these men about the genocide they had perpetrated. He rightly sees that their account raises as many questions as it answers.

Adabert, Alphonse, Ignace, and the others (most of them farmers) told Hatzfeld how the work was given to them, what they thought about it, how they did it, and what their responses were to the bloodbath. "Killing is easier than farming," one says. "I got into it, no problem," says another. Each describes what it was like the first time he killed someone, what he felt like when he killed a mother and child, how he reacted when he killed a cordial acquaintance, how 'cutting' a person with a machete differed from 'cutting' a calf or a sugarcane. And they had plenty of time to tell Hatzfeld, too, about whether and why they had reconsidered their motives, their moral responsibility, their guilt, remorse, or indifference to the crimes.

Hatzfeld's meditation on the banal, horrific testimony of the genocidaires and what it means is lucid, humane, and wise: he relates the Rwanda horror to war crimes and to other genocidal episodes in human history. Especially since the Holocaust, it has been conventional to presume that only depraved and monstrous evil incarnate could perpetrate such crimes, but it may be, he suggests, that such actions are within the realm of ordinary human conduct. To read this disturbing, enlightening and very brave book is to consider in a new light the foundation of human morality and ethics.

Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

“A powerhouse drama. . . . Lynn Nottage’s beautiful, hideous and unpretentiously important play [is] a shattering, intimate journey into faraway news reports.”—Linda Winer, Newsday

“An intense and gripping new drama . . . the kind of new play we desperately need: well-informed and unafraid of the world’s brutalities. Nottage is one of our finest playwrights, a smart, empathetic and daring storyteller who tells a story an audience won’t expect.”—David Cote, Time Out New York

A rain forest bar and brothel in the brutally war-torn Congo is the setting for Lynn Nottage’s extraordinary new play. The establishment’s shrewd matriarch, Mama Nadi, keeps peace between customers from both sides of the civil war, as government soldiers and rebel forces alike choose from her inventory of women, many already “ruined” by rape and torture when they were pressed into prostitution. Inspired by interviews she conducted in Africa with Congo refugees, Nottage has crafted an engrossing and uncommonly human story with humor and song served alongside its postcolonial and feminist politics in the rich theatrical tradition of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage.

Lynn Nottage’s plays include Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Fabulation, and Intimate Apparel, winner of the American Theatre Critics’ Steinberg New Play Award and the Francesca Primus Prize. Her plays have been widely produced, with Intimate Apparel receiving more productions than any other play in America during the 2005-2006 season.

"Walter Nkwi is one of the first Cameroonian historians to have made an interesting attempt to give the voiceless a voice in national historiography. And, perhaps even more importantly, in doing so he has been able to make an exceptional and excellent contribution to various current debates in African Studies, including the nations of civil society, the politics of belonging, and boundaries".-Piet konings, author, Neoliberal Bandwagonism: Civil Society and the Politics of Belonging in Anglophone Cameroon

The history of the subalterns, also known as the history of the voiceless, took currency in the early 1980s in South East Asia and has been dominated by scholars from that region. Despite its popularity, the history of the voiceless has not gained the attention it deserves in Cameroon historiography. In other parts of Africa and beyond this type of history has already taken root and animated scholarly production and debate. Cameroon history has been replete with studies that focus mostly on political history and the actions and intentions of top politicians of the day, with scant regard for the historical importance of the everyday life of ordinary Cameroonians as makers and breakers. This book takes a bold step in the direction of subaltern studies in Cameroon, and makes a clarion call for the institutionalization of voicing the voiceless. Nkwi - innovative and stimulating in his blend of history and ethnography of the everyday - offers fresh insights into the contextual understandings of subaltern Cameroon between 1958 and 2009. This is a welcome contribution to closing gaps in social history, from a leader amongst a budding new generation of historians of Cameroon and Africa.
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