“Youth speaking truth to power”: Intersectional decolonial activism in Namibia
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This article portrays a recent movement towards intersectional activism in urban Namibia. Since 2020, young Namibian activists have come together in campaigns to decolonize public space through removing colonial monuments and renaming streets. These have been linked to enduring structural violence and issues of gender and sexuality, especially queer and women’s reproductive rights politics, which have been expressly framed as perpetuated by coloniality. I argue that the Namibian protests amount to new political forms of intersectional decoloniality that challenge the notion of decolonial activism as identity politics. The Namibian case demonstrates that decolonial movements may not only emphatically not be steeped in essentialist politics but also that activists may oppose an identity-based politics which postcolonial ruling elites have promoted. I show that, for the Namibian movements’ ideology and practice, a fully intersectional approach has become central.