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Mapping Race in a Global World: The Myth of Rhodesia and its Heritage in Global Far-Right Ideologies

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JournalJournal of southern african studies
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Mar 2017
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In June 2015, a young white man walked into a black church in Charleston, North Carolina USA and shot nine people, all black and Christian. Further investigations into the shooter’s background brought up a manifesto entitled ‘The Last Rhodesian,.’ The shooter had also posted photographs on Facebook, wearing a jacket with Rhodesian and apartheid South Africa flags. However, the focus of the discussions on television and newspapers was that he had a Rhodesian flag and had developed a blog named ‘The Last Rhodesian.’ Though the two regimes feature in his repertoire of his celebrated rogue states, South Africa disappeared from the debates that followed. The discussions focused on how Dylann Roof related to Rhodesia and why Rhodesia was the state of choice for right-wing organisation around the world. This paper explores ‘heritage’ of Rhodesia and how it has been internationalised in the absence of a territory that is still called Rhodesia. It traces how myth-making is a crucial component of heritage creation and how ‘heritage’ can become virtual; requiring no territory or citizens to celebrate it. It also poses questions on how the discipline of cultural heritage studies can understand the heritage of hate in the face extremism.

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    Research areas

  • Rhodesia, ZIMBABWE, Great Zimbabwe, Heritage, MYTHS, extremism, TERRITORY, Landscape, Race, Culture

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