Long Distance Afrikaners: Afrikaans literature and dislocated identity in a European context

van der Waal, M., 29-Mar-2015, In : Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 51, 2, p. 196-207 12 p.

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  • Long Distance Afrikaners Afrikaans literature and dislocated identity in a European

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During the 1980s and 1990s, thousands of (white) South Africans (many Afrikaans-speaking) left the country in search for a different and more stable political and economic situation abroad. This article focuses on the imagined expatriate identity expressed in three Afrikaans literary texts set in a European context. It examines Sabbatsreis (2007) by Annelie Botes, Dan Roodt’s Moltrein (2004) and 30 Nagte in Amsterdam (2008) by Etienne van Heerden. By focusing on expatriate identities in these texts, it investigates how postcolonial Afrikaner subjectivity is formulated in a European context, and examines the representation of Afrikaners’ view of Europe. What does this Europe look like, and how does this Europe relate to the characters’ own Afrikaner identity? The “displaced” position of the protagonists enables a critical perspective on Europe, different interpretations of the South African situation, and various understandings of their own identity as postcolonial subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-207
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29-Mar-2015


  • Afrikaner identity, exile literature, postcolonial Europe, whiteness

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