Diaspora and Nation in the Indian OceanTransnational Histories of Race and Urban Space in Tanzania

Diaspora and Nation in the Indian OceanTransnational Histories of Race and Urban Space in Tanzania

Ned Bertz

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780824851552

Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press

Abstract

The Swahili coast port city of Dar es Salaam hosts a diasporic population that emanated in waves from the Indian subcontinent. Based on archival, oral, and newspaper sources from Tanzania and India, this book explores the history of encounters across the wider Indian Ocean that shaped regional ideas of diaspora and nationalism from the earliest days of colonialism in Tanganyika to contemporary Tanzania. It focuses on education and leisure in the form of two prominent city locations, schools and cinemas. Through institutional apparatuses like networks of Indian teacher importation, and the market predominance of the Indian film industry, schools and cinemas in East Africa historically were busy urban spaces influenced by actions and ideas that crisscrossed the Indian Ocean. Diaspora and Nation argues that the deployment of an Indian Ocean scale across twentieth-century history enables an examination of the transnational production of ideas about race against the backdrop of changing relationships among movement, place, and claims of belonging as new notions of nationhood and diaspora emerged. The book also demonstrates that much of the creative production of diasporic Indian identities that formed in East Africa was a result of local (albeit cosmopolitan) encounters across cities like Dar es Salaam.