SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Space, Politics and Identity: the construction of the northern section of the Ghana-Togo border

Giulia Casentini (University of Pavia, Italy)

Date: 8 January 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 8 January 2014Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Faber Building Room: FG01

Type of Event: Seminar

The concept of space in sub-Saharan Africa has been deeply influenced by territorial arrangements defined by colonial powers, especially through the imposition of borders. Borders and borderlands represent today important theoretical frameworks to analyse the processes of identity construction, changes in local political dynamics and conflicts in contemporary Africa.

I will consider how the present-day international border between Ghana and Togo, determined during colonial times, is affecting the everyday life of those communities that live across this border. Or better, I will analyse the converse concept, that is to say: how everyday economic, social and political life of the communities settled along the border is eventually affecting the idea, shape and meaning of the international border itself. In other words, I will point out how creatively people have used this “line” - imposed by an external power – and have incorporated it into the continuous and challenging process of construction of their own identity and political representation.

Organiser: Dr Marie Rodet

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