Swakopmund , Windhoek , Swakopmund , Windhoek - Namibia

Namibia: A Week of Justice

Colonial Repercussions: Reflecting on the genocide against Ovaherero and Nama peoples 115 years later

The return of human remains from Germany to Namibia, the lawsuit brought before a US court by Herero and Nama, the restitution of artworks taken during the colonial era currently exhibited in museums in Berlin, Paris and London: the present day repercussions of Europe’s colonial past are being discussed more openly. Calls to address colonial injustices can now be frequently heard in various forums. Addressing colonial injustices in a genuine way – going beyond negotiations between states – is a broader process to be undertaken by societies. As part of this long process, many questions arise for all parties: Who is talking about whom? Which perspectives and memories are part of the conversation, which ones are ignored? What kind of justice is needed to address (post)colonial injustice? How can we achieve a truly constructive and forward-thinking discourse?

From 25 to 30 March 2019, lawyers, artists, constitutional historians and civil society experts will meet in Namibia to discuss these questions in an interdisciplinary way. “Namibia: A Week of Justice” opens with the symposium “Colonial Injustice – Addressing Past Wrongs,” organized in Windhoek by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and the Akademie der Künste (AdK) in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.

Together with the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation (OGF) and the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) and Nama Genocide Technical Committee (NGTC), ECCHR and AdK then invite to the international conference “International Law in Postcolonial Contexts” as well as a public event in Swakopmund.

Participants include: Herta Däubler-Gmelin (former German Minister of Justice), Peter Katjavivi (President of the Namibian Parliament, tbc), Jeanine Meerapfel (President of the Akademie der Künste), Bonita Meyersfeld (Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg/South Africa), John Nakuta (University of Namibia), Makau Mutua (University of Buffalo, USA, tbc), Vasuki Nesiah (New York University), Hilary Beckles (University of the West Indies in Mona/Jamaika, tbc), Jürgen Zimmerer (Hamburg University) and Wolfgang Kaleck (ECCHR).

Please save the date, an invitation including the program and registration details will be circulated shortly.