Thursday, 29 October 2015

Postcolonial silencing, intellectuals, and the state: Views from Eritrea

Postcolonial silencing, intellectuals, and the state: Views from Eritrea 

an interesting 2000 article by Peter Schmidt

In the immediate post-liberation period, Eritrean intellectuals, with the concurrence of the state, showed deep interest in developing archaeological studies and an enhanced capacity to manage heritage resources.Through a focus on the National Museum, this article investigates the ensuing struggles for the control of history and heritage in Eritrea. Originally an initiative of ex-fighters who rendered liberation history in artistic form, the National Museum later came under the authority of the University of Asmara. While other museums involving those who survived displacement and conflict, such as the District Six Museum in Cape Town, often contest the expert authority of intellectuals and invite public participation, the National Museum became an instrument of the state that suppressed public participation. The struggle between the National Museum and the University provides penetrating insights into state hostility towards intellectuals and containment of public education using the media of archaeology and heritage studies, a conflict that prefigured state/university conflicts leading to the dismantling of the University of Asmara

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