May 8, 2021
In this episode we talk to Zoé Samudzi. Dr. Samudzi has a PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of California, San Francisco. Her dissertation was about German colonialism, the Herero/Nama genocide, and the afterlife of that genocidal structure in the present. Her writing has appeared in Art in America, The New Republic, The New Inquiry, Jewish Currents, and other outlets. She is co-author of As Black as Resistance, which we spoke with her and co-author William C. Anderson back in 2018.
In this conversation we talk about a range of topics related to settler colonialism and colonization in Africa, specifically in modern day Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Zoé shares with us some of the historical fights between European nation states, and European settlers in Southern Africa. She also shares a little bit of history on the Nama/Herero genocide and how it was utilized by the British to undermine the German Empire. Josh and Zoé explore the relationship between colonialism and fascism. And Zoé also shares some thoughts on the film Exterminate All The Brutes and challenges US exceptionalism in relationship to our analysis of settler colonialism and genocide.
Finally, Zoé talks about museums as ongoing sites of colonial violence and we discuss this in relationship to the recent revelations about the U Penn museum and U Penn and Princeton’s use of the remains of Delisha and Tree Africa, two MOVE children killed in the 1985 bombing, whose remains were taken from their families without consent or notice.
And there’s a petition for the repatriation of the remains of Tree and Delisha, and financial reparations to the affected families.
Suggested readings from Zoé Samudzi:
- Mobilizing Black Germany by Tiffany Florvil
- The Problems of Genocide by Dirk Moses
- Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism by Ariella Aïsha Azoulay
- The Brutish Museums by Dan Hicks
- Multidirectional Memory by Michael Rothberg
- Exterminate all the Brutes by Sven Lindqvist
- Alabama in Africa by Andrew Zimmerman
May is a really busy month for us, beyond this great conversation we have a number of other exciting new episodes planned. If you are able to become a patron of the show, you can do so for as little as $1 a month.