Can we name ourselves Savimbi? Crevice Moments and Spaces of National Reimagination in the Angolan Scouts

This paper presents an analysis of contemporary citizenship in one group of Angolan boy scouts in 2014. It uses Shiera El-Malik’s notion of ‘crevice moments’ to explore specific instances of dialogue and action which reveal opening and possibility within a largely closed state that have thus far not...

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Published in: Kronos (Bellville, South Africa) no. 45; pp. 125 - 139
Main Author: JESS AUERBACH
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: University of Western Cape 01-01-2019
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Summary: This paper presents an analysis of contemporary citizenship in one group of Angolan boy scouts in 2014. It uses Shiera El-Malik’s notion of ‘crevice moments’ to explore specific instances of dialogue and action which reveal opening and possibility within a largely closed state that have thus far not been reflected in existing scholarly literature. The paper further considers the reasons for scouting’s popularity in post-war Angola, arguing that its military structure, religious basis, and focus on ‘adventure’ and social interactions have made it a highly desirable space for young people in a context where few opportunities exist for leisure activities. Finally, scouting enables a reconstitution of military and ideological symbols including uniforms, the socialist ideological construction of ‘the new man,’ and ‘nature’ in a way that, as one scout leader put it, is ‘fit for peace’. In this process, past, present and future are reconstituted by a movement that itself is formed and transformed in contradiction and colonial echo.
ISSN: 0259-0190
2309-9585