‘I still don’t have a country’
The southern African settler diaspora after decolonisation
in Cultures of decolonisation
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This chapter uses the oral history narratives of six post-war British migrants to southern Africa to analyse the impact of decolonisation on individuals. With attention to performances of identity such as accent, interior design and leisure, it traces shifts in the ways these migrants positioned themselves and made sense of political changes such as the 1961 South African declaration of Republic, the 1965 Rhodesian Unilateral Declaration of Independence and the onset of majority rule in Zimbabwe in 1980 and South Africa in 1994. Nostalgia, especially for the southern African landscape and wildlife, was a common theme in these accounts, one that provided a way to discuss the loss of settler cultures without reference to race or politics. The chapter highlights the dislocation experienced by these migrants as a result of decolonisation, and demonstrates the value of oral history evidence to understanding the distinct cultures of decolonisation.

Cultures of decolonisation

Transnational productions and practices, 1945–70

Editors: Ruth Craggs and Claire Wintle

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