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Title: An archaeology of colonialism, conflict, and exclusion : conflict landscapes of Western Sahara
Author: Garfi, Salvatore
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 6613
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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When Spain gave up its colony of Spanish (now Western) Sahara in 1975, it was annexed by Morocco and Mauritania. A sixteen-year war ensued, leaving the country divided between Morocco and the Polisario Front. This unresolved conflict left indelible scars on the landscape, mainly battlescapes, made up of numerous field fortifications littered with the detritus of war, and ‘the berm’ (or ‘berms’) a succession of fortified earth and stone walls constructed by Morocco between 1980 and 1987, partitioning a formerly pastoral landscape, and excluding pro-independence Saharawis from the western four-fifths of their country. This dissertation will explore how this desert landscape has been transformed by colonialism and war, and how in some ways, the Saharawi people are actively reappropriating their land. This will be done by looking at the landscape at three levels of resolution. The broadest, or national level, will chart the growth and spread of the berms, illustrating the material extent of Moroccan colonial control, and the exclusion of Saharawis within and outside the territory. The middle, or regional level, will explore the militarisation of one settlement – Tifariti – which was fought over during the war, and which hosted a unique art festival between 2007 and 2010. The third, finer level, will look at the land art that was created as a result of the art festival, and which is now a new stratum of contemporary archaeology, overlying the extensive prehistoric archaeology evident in the region. A great number of national barriers are at this moment being raised around the globe, with countries adopting siege mentalities with their neighbours. This dissertation will explore how archaeology can apply a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing upon a variety of resources, to help us understand the contemporary phenomena of conflict and exclusion, through the unique example of Western Sahara.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available