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BOYHOOD: TRACKING IN THE RHODESIAN ARMY DURING THE ZIMBABWE WAR OF LIBERATION (1964-1979)
November 10, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Presenting is Luise White, Professor, Department of History, University of Florida
(In cooperation with the UNC Chapel Hill African Studies Center)
The presentation explores the tracking of African guerrillas by the Rhodesian security forces during Zimbabwe’s liberation war. Like hunters before them, Rhodesian forces had promoted the ideal of the loyal, aged Bushman tracker, whose natural skills allowed him to read broken branches and trampled grass to see who was going where and at what speed. Whites could learn to read the landscape as well, but such knowledge was best acquired in childhood from an African playmate in an African language. This was bushcraft: at best it could become second nature, but even so it became the basis for a claim to belonging in Africa. But as the war and conscription intensified in the mid-1970s Rhodesian commanders began to doubt the efficacy of bushcraft and taught a kind of tracking that was a matter of recognizing the treads of shoes.
Emily Burill (UNC Chapel Hill, African Studies Center and Department of Women and Gender Studies) will be the moderator.
This event is part of the Carolina Gender, War and Culture Series.
Acknowledgement of Support: This event has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this event are the sole responsibility of The UNC Center for European Studies and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.