Howard Richard Taylor

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Columbia U.

Grant number

Gr. 9850

Approve Date

April 30, 2019

Project Title

Taylor, Howard (Columbia U.) "‘Coming to terms’ with Namibia in Germany- Race, Reckoning, and Reparation in a fractured Europe.  "

Demands for reparation for the crimes of the European colonial era are increasing throughout the world. In Germany, where reparations have been paid to Holocaust survivors and to the State of Israel, demands for reparation are now coming from the descendants of genocide victims and the nation-state that represents them- Namibia. While anthropologists have paid considerable attention to racism and postcolonial migration in Europe, as well as the politics of reparation in the context of settler colonial states such as Canada and the USA, the processes by which non settler nation-states engage with demands for reparation from former colonial subjects are underexplored. This research focuses on how the German state is demanded of and then responds to claims made by former colonial subjects at three key loci of encounter where Namibians meet the German state: a court of law in New York City, interstate negotiations in Berlin, and with an association of German Namibians. By honing in on engagements with a colonial genocide in the country that pioneered reparations as a means of ‘righting wrongs’, this research reveals the conflicting ways in which struggles for historical justice and redress are enacted, resisted, and negotiated in this crisis ridden present.