“If you want to travel by night, and you have a lamp, set out on your journey!”: A Replique to “Archives, Identity and Place: A Dialogue on What it (Might) Mean(s) to be an African Archivist”

  • Ethel Kriger National Archives of South Africa
Keywords: African Archivist, Language, Orality, Identity Formation


For me one of the more interesting aspects of this dialogue is that the title suggests a soul-searching journey. Therefore I chose a Congolese proverb as my title for the replique. However, my impression was corrected in the very opening of the dialogue, with the reader instead being invited to a jousting contest, where the markings on the shields of the knights do not differ too radically from each other. I would like to attempt this replique by inviting the authors, Verne Harris and Sello Hatang, and the reader to join me in a journey into the night, using what little light we have to gather insights into what an “African” (archivist) might mean. I shall attempt this replique by focusing on two questions only. In the first instance I shall examine the concept of identity formation and place. Secondly, I shall attempt an interrogation of language and orality.

ESARBICA Journal Vol.20 2001: 132-138

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eISSN: 0376-4753