Monuments of power: the North Korean origin of nationalist monuments in Namibia and Zimbabwe

This book is based on Tycho van der Hoog’s master’s thesis ‘North Korean monuments in southern Africa: Legitimizing party rule through the National Heroes’ Acres in Zimbabwe and Namibia’, runner-up for the African Studies Centre Leiden’s 2018 Africa Thesis Award

Scattered across southern Africa, impressive North Korean monuments celebrate the rise of young, independent nations. Freed from the shackles of colonialism or white settler rule, many southern African states are loyal customers of the North Korean state-owned enterprise Mansudae Art Studio, a firm responsible for the propaganda of the reigning Kim dynasty. In an extraordinary fashion, this mode of Afro-DPRK cooperation merges African nationalism with North Korean socialist realism.

Monuments of Power compares the National Heroes’ Acres of Namibia and Zimbabwe to the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery in North Korea, thus providing a window to explore the largely unknown support offered by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to African liberation movements. This historical background is paramount to understand the influence of the DPRK on post-colonial public history in Africa. This book will not only interest African Studies specialists working on the liberation wars in Africa, it is also relevant to scholars in Korean Studies examining North Korea’s international ties and authors in the field of heritage studies.

This book has been published as volume 74 of the African Studies Collection.

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Author(s) / editor(s)

Tycho van der Hoog

About the author(s) / editor(s)

Tycho van der Hoog is a PhD candidate at the African Studies Centre Leiden and is working on the project ‘Blood, Bullets and Bronze: North Korea in Southern Africa, 1960-2010’. Tycho holds a bachelor’s degree in history (2014), a bachelor’s degree in political science (2014), a research master’s degree in African Studies (2016) and a master’s degree in history (2017) from Leiden University.

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