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Deconstructing the conservancy map; hxaro, n!ore and rhizomes in the Kalahari.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalCartographica
Journal number2
Volume47
Number of pages14
Pages121-134
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

To stand a chance of reclaiming their pre-colonial rights, indigenous peoples often have to deploy the tools and logic of the colonial state. Through a case study of community conservancy in Namibia, we demonstrate that the same holds for the practice of participatory mapping. We engage with J.B. Harley's deconstruction of maps and use our ethnographic data to reveal the silences and lies inherent in the rigid cartographic representations of conservancy maps. The indigenous peoples in our case study are the San, who have been marginalized and displaced from their land. We highlight how these people, once perceived by the colonialists as “rootless,” do have strong relational connections across the landscape. We argue that the practice of counter-mapping, along with its critique, is incomplete without full attention to the silences of the map and the relational rhizomes (across boundaries) of the peoples involved.