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A toponymy of segregation: the ‘Neutral zones’ of Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Kinshasa

Luce Beeckmans (UGent)
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Abstract
This chapter explores into the politics of naming of the separation zones or ‘neutral zones’ between Africans and Europeans in three colonial African cities: British Dar es Salaam, French Dakar and Belgian Kinshasa. By showing that in the cities discussed, colonial powers not only used place-naming as a strategy to impose their dominance, but also to legitimate and camouflage the segregationist intentions of their urban policies, we aim to add another layer to the study of the political practice of place-naming within a colonial context. In addition this chapter uses a toponymic analysis to understand the importance of transnational connections and networks in the introduction of racial segregation in Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Kinshasa, as well as in the accompanied legitimizing discourse. Finally, we will illustrate how this legitimizing discourse eventually resulted in official place names. However, while many of the resulting names are still inscribed in today’s toponymic landscape of Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Kinshasa, others have disappeared as a result of spontaneous or symbolic re-naming operations in the era before and after decolonization.
Keywords
Neutral, zones, Colonial toponymy, Urban environments, Racial segregation, African colonies

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Chicago
Beeckmans, Luce. 2016. “A Toponymy of Segregation: The ‘Neutral Zones’ of Dakar, Dar Es Salaam and Kinshasa.” In Place Names in Africa : Colonial Urban Legacies, Entangled Histories, ed. Liora Bigon, 105–122. Switzerland: Springer.
APA
Beeckmans, Luce. (2016). A toponymy of segregation: the “Neutral zones” of Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Kinshasa. In L. Bigon (Ed.), Place names in Africa : colonial urban legacies, entangled histories (pp. 105–122). Switzerland: Springer.
Vancouver
1.
Beeckmans L. A toponymy of segregation: the “Neutral zones” of Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Kinshasa. In: Bigon L, editor. Place names in Africa : colonial urban legacies, entangled histories. Switzerland: Springer; 2016. p. 105–22.
MLA
Beeckmans, Luce. “A Toponymy of Segregation: The ‘Neutral Zones’ of Dakar, Dar Es Salaam and Kinshasa.” Place Names in Africa : Colonial Urban Legacies, Entangled Histories. Ed. Liora Bigon. Switzerland: Springer, 2016. 105–122. Print.
@incollection{8085320,
  abstract     = {This chapter explores into the politics of naming of the separation zones or ‘neutral zones’ between Africans and Europeans in three colonial African cities: British Dar es Salaam, French Dakar and Belgian Kinshasa. By showing that in the cities discussed, colonial powers not only used place-naming as a strategy to impose their dominance, but also to legitimate and camouflage the segregationist intentions of their urban policies, we aim to add another layer to the study of the political practice of place-naming within a colonial context. In addition this chapter uses a toponymic analysis to understand the importance of transnational connections and networks in the introduction of racial segregation in Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Kinshasa, as well as in the accompanied legitimizing discourse. Finally, we will illustrate how this legitimizing discourse eventually resulted in official place names. However, while many of the resulting names are still inscribed in today’s toponymic landscape of Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Kinshasa, others have disappeared as a result of spontaneous or symbolic re-naming operations in the era before and after decolonization.},
  author       = {Beeckmans, Luce},
  booktitle    = {Place names in Africa : colonial urban legacies, entangled histories},
  editor       = {Bigon, Liora},
  isbn         = {978-3-319-32484-5},
  keywords     = {Neutral,zones,Colonial toponymy,Urban environments,Racial segregation,African colonies},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {105--122},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  title        = {A toponymy of segregation: the ‘Neutral zones’ of Dakar, Dar es Salaam and Kinshasa},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32485-2_8},
  year         = {2016},
}

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