Online Archive: African Independence Days

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The online archive “African Independence Days” counts more than 28,000 images (photographs, newspaper articles, documents, and objects) from twelve African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria and Tanzania. The diverse material was collected in the context of the research projects „Erinnerungspolitik und Nationalfeiern in Afrika" (“The poetics and politics of national commemoration in Africa”) (2009–2013) and „Die Aufführung von Nation und der Umgang mit subnationalen Differenzen in afrikanischen Nationalfeiern“ (“Performing the nation and subnational differences in African national days”) (2013–2019). The material offers unique insights into practices of national commemoration and political celebrations in Africa. For more information on the archive’s origins, please click here…

For an overview of the material collected in each country, please check the material lists. The archive “African Independence Days” comprises the following types of items:

  1. Photographs: The online archive includes more than 23,000 photos taken at various events during the festive program (for example parades and torchlight processions) and further events associated with the celebrations (for example theater productions, concerts or conferences) or important public events and ceremonies like election campaigns and other public holidays.
  2. Newspapers: The online archive counts photos of more than 4,000 newspaper articles taken from daily or weekly newspapers. In addition, nearly 7,000 newspaper articles collected from 150 newspapers (predominantly in English and French, but also in Afrikaans, German, Malagasy and Swahili), are stored in the physical part of the archive “Afrikanische Unabhängigkeitsfeiern” (“African Independence Days”) at the department.
  3. Documents: The online archive comprises photos of over 1,000 documents, including posters, fliers, book pages, minutes, and brochures.
  4. Objects: The online archive contains photos of over 150 objects (paraphernalia featuring the anniversary logo and merchandise), which are preserved in the department’s ethnographic collection.

The descriptions and background data of the images are mainly accessible in German or English.

Burkina Faso@50 C. Lentz, 2010