The problem of nomadism in German South West Africa
John K. Noyes
This chapter examines the intersection of the expansion of capital and the ambivalent mobility of bodies under the heading of nomadism, with reference to the colony of German South West Africa. It shows how the issue of nomadism in colonial Namibia was used to construct a specific relationship between subjectivity and landscape that could solve both the theoretical and practical challenges to the national development of territory. The argument that colonisation successfully overcomes nomadism can be encountered in numerous guises in the second half of the nineteenth century, and it is at all times easily reducible to a plea for subjectivity as national identity. Colonial policies surrounding land ownership, settlement and land use came to revolve around a series of native and European stereotypes. The stereotype of native economic ineptness, based on an essential irrationality, was opposed to the stereotype of European economic rationality.