Interview: Esther Utji Muinjangue
The Herero and Nama genocide was committed by German colonial forces in a series of phases between 1904 and 1908. By its end, tens of thousands of people had died, many survivors were forced into exile, and indigenous lands were occupied by white German settlers, where their descendants predominantly remain. It has become known as the first genocide of the 20th century. The descendants of the victims of the genocide have been seeking reparations from Germany for more than a decade. Esther Utji Muinjangue is chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation in Windhoek, Namibia. This organization co-organized a workshop on the Herero and Nama genocide in Swakopmund, along with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the Nama Traditional Leaders Association, the Nama Genocide Technical Committee, and the Academy of Arts. Along with these groups, the OGF have been instrumental in bringing the genocide and reparations issue to the Namibian public sphere. Esther is a social justice activist, academic, and lecturer at the University of Namibia.
Howard Rechavia Taylor speaks with Esther Utji Muinjangue about the need to address these events and the imbalances they have caused.
Photograph: Esther Utji Muinjangue. Credit: Andreas Bohne.