Original Research

Groen postkolonialisme in Etosha (Piet van Rooyen)

Susan Meyer
Literator | Vol 39, No 1 | a1425 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v39i1.1425 | © 2018 Susan Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 June 2017 | Published: 29 January 2018

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Green postcolonialism in Etosha (Piet van Rooyen). In Etosha (2010) the impact and aftereffect of the colonial system on the Etosha Nasional Park in Namibia, and on the people who lived there, is portrayed. This study explores the situations of various characters and groups who formerly resided there, focusing on aspects of their relationship with one another, as well as on the realities of colonial exploitation and the use or destruction of the natural environment. The question raised is how green postcolonialism takes form in this novel as a result of the convergence of conservation oriented and postcolonial perspectives. The study focuses on the ways Etosha challenges the reader to realise the full complexity of the question, ‘Who is actually right, what is justifiable in the battle for survival?’, specifically in our local context; and on how the reader is confronted with the task to find place-specific answers for questions aimed at our situation in Africa. It is found that the situations of various role players and their different viewpoints are depicted in a nuanced and convincing manner, contributing to the realistic portrayal of the complex issue of conservation versus exploitation in the postcolonial context. Etosha is a meaningful novel when evaluated within the context of the development of ecocriticism in South Africa.


Etosha (Piet van Rooyen); ecocriticism; postcolonial criticism; green postcolonialism


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