By Stephanie Urdang
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Extra info for And They Still Dance: Women, War, and the Struggle for Change in Mozambique
45 Given the role school textbooks played during the colonial era, this return to the colonial model as an extension of republican ideals in the postcolonial era, and recourse to this model of the past to shape the new citizens of the postcolonial era, is of course particularly troubling. How then, we might very well wonder, can such seemingly opposed contextualizations and interpretations of history operate alongside the potentialities of such innovative projects as the Quai Branly Museum and the National Center for the History of Immigration that opened in Paris in 2006 and 2007, respectively?
23 Critics were quick to draw attention to the contradictions inherent to his characterization of history,24 while of course simultaneously showing how his rhetoric—claiming for example that there are no “hierarchies between peoples” (Chirac, “Speech”)—was at odds with his policies on immigration and ethnic minorities. Today, most European countries have devoted space to museums that focus on colonial history, postcoloniality, or immigration history. ”27 As with the Quai Branly Museum, this initiative has also been surrounded by controversy, given that the museum’s intentions have been seemingly partially undermined by the fact that the opening in 2007 coincided with newly elected French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s creation of the Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Co-Development and disquieting statements made in his speech delivered in Dakar, Senegal ( July 26, 2007) in which racist constructs revealed the lingering nature of such discourses in postcolonial France.
17 However, societies cannot circumvent these twenty-first-century issues and realities merely because they are complex; rather, they call for assiduous engagement of the kind Corinne A. Kratz and Ciraj Rassool point to, precisely because “the many ways of belonging are layered onto the museum along with other meanings and narratives, . . redefining museum, exhibition, and public cultures in the process. It is essential to keep in mind that these recastings, remappings, and reorganizations always require negotiating the political economies of resources and power and that help define the very terms of engagement.
And They Still Dance: Women, War, and the Struggle for Change in Mozambique by Stephanie Urdang