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Mapping The Ocean: Visual Representations Of The Indian Ocean In The Swahili Military Press During World War II

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses maps which appeared in army newspapers for East and Central African soldiers, as part of the British military propaganda to legitimize the deployment of the so-called askari outside the continent during World War II. The chapter outlines the conceptual aspects of spatial production which link spatial representations to power relations. It continues by briefly sketching the incorporation of East African troops into the imperial forces, describing the areas of their deployment and giving a cursory outline of the journals and newspapers produced for East African soldiers during the Second World War. The chapter discusses Indian Ocean maps in army newspapers as discursive attempts to provide the readership with arguments that give meaning to their out-of-area deployment. The chapter relates the empirical findings about cartographical representations with a clear persuasive function to the concept of the social production of space and the translocal aspects of 'movement' and 'sedimentation'.

Keywords: askari; British military; Central African soldier; East African troop; Indian Ocean map; spatial representation; Swahili newspaper; World War II



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