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In: African Diaspora
Author:

Abstract

There is a growing understanding that migration trajectories can be complex – spanning several destination countries and including multi-directional mobilities. This paper contributes to the ongoing theorisation of diasporas through a focus on the ‘return mobilities of onward migrants’ – return moves of individuals who have lived in several destination countries either to Nigeria or a previous country of residence. Given that a longing to return to the ancestral homeland has generally been understood as a defining feature of diasporas, relatively few studies have focused on ‘returns’ to other countries or locales. Based on research with Nigerian migrants in Germany, England and Spain, this paper explores some of the core elements that structure their transnational practices and mediate experiences of return mobility, including family dynamics at different life stages and evolving understandings of ‘belonging’. Thereby, this paper highlights the shifting geographic constellations of transnational families and the variety of ‘return’ mobility patterns.

Open Access
In: African Diaspora

Abstract

Late antique and medieval cotton and wool textiles found in the middle Nile Valley (Nubia, northern Sudan) were analysed for their technical characteristics and strontium (Sr) isotope composition. All wool textiles exhibit Sr isotope signatures consistent with the isotopic background of the region studied and are considered to be of local origin. However, a medieval wool kilim from Meinarti shows technical and aesthetic features suggesting its foreign Maghreb provenance. As this fabric dates back to the occupation of Meinarti by the Beni Ikrima tribe, it is suggested that the kilim was woven by the Beni Ikrima people from local Nubian raw material. The cotton samples tested come from abroad and document trade with the oases of the Egyptian Western Desert, the west coast of India, and perhaps also with the Arabian Peninsula or Pakistan.

Open Access
In: Journal of African Archaeology
In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics

Abstract

Land reform in South Africa has been criticised for its failure to significantly improve beneficiaries’ livelihoods. Among the reasons is the government’s stubborn enforcement of large-scale farming on land reform projects. This article presents the experiences of land reform beneficiaries on a single case farm in Limpopo Province, confirming, on one hand, that indeed the capital-intensive model of production negatively affects their production and livelihoods. On the other, the article shows that where alternative land uses are introduced, even alongside large-scale farming, land contributes to beneficiaries’ livelihoods. The article argues that a nuanced analysis that goes beyond the narrow commercial and econometric value of land, to include its social value, allows us to comprehend the full extent of land’s contribution to rural livelihoods in South Africa.

Open Access
In: Africa Review
Author:

Abstract

Bone tools from Taforalt Cave constitute the largest North African Later Stone Age (LSA) bone tool technocomplex recovered to-date. Use-trace analyses show that the small, pointed forms which dominate the assemblage show microtopographic patterning consistent with ethnographic bone tools used to make coiled basketry. The presence of coiled basketry likely scaffolded emergent cultural forms reflected in increased sedentism, resource intensification, and greater population density at Taforalt. This study explores the relationship between coiled basketry and archaeologically co-occurring technologies. Ethnographic analogies derived from Indigenous Californian groups provide a model for how resource-specific collection, processing, storage, and preparation requirements may have been supported technologically.

Open Access
In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

Archaeological mitigation efforts in advance of Lesotho’s Metolong Dam involved comprehensive documentation of rock paintings in the area threatened with inundation, as well as pigment characterisation and direct dating. This paper gives an overview of the rock arts found and their key features. Four traditions are present. Most paintings belong to the fine-line San tradition, but there are also examples of Type 3 images previously only recognised in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. Two other traditions are identified as being made by local Basotho communities. Contextual evidence suggests that they relate to male identity and, in the case of ochre smears and handprints, specifically to male initiation rituals. Some of the rock art sites identified are, in fact, used today by male and female initiation schools. The importance of comprehensively documenting rock art in other locations where it is at risk of being lost via development projects is stressed. Metolong sets a standard for rock art recording in cultural resource management work in the wider region.

Open Access
In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

This paper examines Agents of Ishq, an online site/project seeking to create a space for the public discourse of sex and sexuality in India, with particular attention to a single music video that is part of the project. The content produced by the project is informed by idioms of Bollywood films and film-music. The paper draws on the notion of popular culture to see how meanings are encoded within the video productions and explores the politics of representation of these audio-visual and textual resources. It also briefly examines the effect that being hosted on a digital platform, freely accessible at any time and from any location, (rather than as part of traditional and broadcast media) has on the content produced by Agents of Ishq. It examines the need for the proliferation of pedagogical resources of this kind and, at the same time, draws attention to the ways in which they need to be critically problematized in terms of the cultural hegemonies they may run the risk of reinforcing.

Open Access
In: Bandung

Abstract

This paper introduces the theme of Languaging, Diversity and Democracy. Contemporary issues of participation and ways-of-being and positions the 12 individual papers that constitute the 2022 double special issue of Bandung: Journal of the Global South. Its interest lies in contributing to knowledge that is relevant for contemporary human challenges related to issues of mobility, digitalization, and communication in and across different geopolitical regions across the planet and across virtual-physical spaces. Raising concerns regarding universalizing tendencies of special issues (and collected volumes generally), and based on the premise that what kind of knowledge matters is tied up with the issue of whose knowledge and in what named-language this knowledge matters, this paper raises critical queries that focus on the narrators positionality and gaze, the composition of scholarly narratives, the flow of narratives, what vocabularies circulate in frontline scholarship, including the organization of special issues, etc. Drawing attention to the universalizing Euro/America-centrism that shapes what counts as knowledge, the paper draws attention to the taken-for-grantedness of what counts as international languages of publishing which eclipses alternative epistemologies, ways-of-thinking and ways-of-being. It argues that by taking such issues as inspiration in the curation and editing of this double special issue, participatory processes and ways-of-being enabled a contribution to the doing of democracy and diversity in the scholarly enterprise. Such work of democratizing academic publication work calls for unlearning to learn that is closely related to the theme explored in the double special issue. Aligning with analogue-digital languaging in contemporary existence, the paper also traces the journey of how this double special issue has come into being.

Open Access
In: Bandung

Abstract

This paper presents the relationship among Nepal’s linguistic diversity, multilingualism, and democratic practices by bringing into ideas from the global north and global south. The guiding question for exploring this relationship is, “why is Nepal’s linguistic diversity being squeezed despite the formulation of democratic and inclusive language policies that intended to promote multilingualism?”. To investigate this concern, qualitative data were obtained from semi-structured interviews with two purposively selected high-profile people working in the capacity of language policymaking in the state agencies. In Nepal, although democracy promoted awareness towards the issue of language rights and the need of preservation and promotion of minority languages, the narrowing of multilingual diversity continued in practice. This study concluded that democracy allowed neoliberal ideologies to penetrate sociolinguistic spaces and put greater emphasis on English and Nepali. While there is an intertwined relationship between linguistic diversity, democracy, and multilingualism, the ongoing democratic practices have become counterproductive in maintaining the linguistic diversity leading to the marginalization of minority and lesser-known languages. Also, despite ample literature documenting linguistic diversity as a resource and opportunity, the notions of ‘linguistic diversity’ and ‘multilingualism’ were utilized merely as political agendas and issues of critical discourses which have left negligible impact on changing the conventionalized practices of linguistic domination of Nepali and English. Therefore, we question the co-existence of diversity and democracy and claim that democracy alone does not necessarily contribute to the protection of linguistic diversity. In line with this concept, democratic practices could even be counterproductive in the promotion and protection of linguistic diversity. Our findings suggest future interventions about essentializing the use of minority languages in education and governance, alongside democracy providing the fertile grounds for policy pitches to address micro problems in maintaining multilingualism within a democracy.

Open Access
In: Bandung