Vol 27 No 1 (2018): Nordic Journal of African Studies
Articles Social Studies

Changing urbanscapes: Colonial and postcolonial monuments in Windhoek

Heike Becker
University of the Western Cape, Department of Anthropology & Sociology, South Africa
Nordic Journal of African Studies
Published September 16, 2018
  • Namibia,
  • Windhoek,
  • urban landscape,
  • Indepence Memorial Museum,
  • Genocide Memorial,
  • memory politics
  • ...More


This article investigates how recently-constructed sites that anchor memories of anti-colonial resistance and national liberation have changed the urban landscape of the Namibian capital, Windhoek. The discussion is focused on the Namibian Independence Memorial Museum and the Genocide Memorial. These North-Korean-built monuments in a prominent hilltop position central Windhoek have significantly altered the city’s skyline with their massive aesthetics of Stalinist realism. Built in a particular position, they have replaced an infamous colonial memorial, the ‘Windhoek Rider’, and dwarf the ‘Alte Feste’ fort and the ‘Christuskirche’, iconic German colonial remnants of the built environment.