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dc.contributor.authorWoldeyes, Yirga Gelaw
dc.identifier.citationWoldeyes, Y. 2020. “Holding Living Bodies in Graveyards”: The Violence of Keeping Ethiopian Manuscripts in Western Institutions. M/C Journal. 23 (2).

There are two types of Africa. The first is a place where people and cultures live. The second is the image of Africa that has been invented through colonial knowledge and power. The colonial image of Africa, as the Other of Europe, a land “enveloped in the dark mantle of night” was supported by western states as it justified their colonial practices (Hegel 91). Any evidence that challenged the myth of the Dark Continent was destroyed, removed or ignored. While the looting of African natural resources has been studied, the looting of African knowledges hasn’t received as much attention, partly based on the assumption that Africans did not produce knowledge that could be stolen. This article invalidates this myth by examining the legacy of Ethiopia’s indigenous Ge’ez literature, and its looting and abduction by powerful western agents. The article argues that this has resulted in epistemic violence, where students of the Ethiopian indigenous education system do not have access to their books, while European orientalists use them to interpret Ethiopian history and philosophy using a foreign lens. The analysis is based on interviews with teachers and students of ten Ge’ez schools in Ethiopia, and trips to the Ethiopian manuscript collections in The British Library, The Princeton Library, the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and The National Archives in Addis Ababa.

dc.publisherM/C - Media and Culture
dc.title“Holding Living Bodies in Graveyards”: The Violence of Keeping Ethiopian Manuscripts in Western Institutions
dc.typeJournal Article
dcterms.source.titleM/C Journal
curtin.departmentSchool of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry
curtin.accessStatusOpen access
curtin.facultyFaculty of Humanities
curtin.contributor.orcidWoldeyes, Yirga Gelaw [0000-0003-3366-3129]
curtin.contributor.scopusauthoridWoldeyes, Yirga Gelaw [56560196600]

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