PANEL 4.09

Rivers and wadis – socio-cultural networks of migration and exchange

Coordination:
Wolbert Smidt , Mekele University, Ethiopia;
Eloi Ficquet, CFEE, Ethiopia.

The Northeast-African region is today often defined as a cluster of territories and land-masses, which shows a perception of a geographical reality on the basis of defined, encircled entities, with the unavoidable connotation of un-dynamic, unmovable lands geographically and culturally quite different from each other. While the region has always been marked by socio-politically, religiously and culturally quite distinct separate countries, often demarcated by rivers, these territories were also strongly interacting. The existence of long-distance networks, following a radically different logic – not the logic of land-masses, but the logic of fluvial networks – can indicate new paths for a different understanding of the history – especially ethno-history – and cultures of the region. The rather static territorial model shall be challenged by a more dynamic model. While there is no doubt about the rich differences within Northeast-Africa, the discourse of separation led sometimes to an underestimation of the dynamics of exchange and mutual influence.

This panel wishes to ask new questions and discuss ongoing research on rivers and wadis, including watersheds and stagnant waters (e.g. places locally called bahar and similar). Rivers and wadis shall be discussed under any possible perspective which reveals their importance for the shaping of the societies of Northeast-Africa. They are understood in this panel as crucial factors in the long-distance interconnections between regions often perceived as totally different, but being in fact economically, politically, culturally and / or linguistically interlinked. However, the idea of a cultural and economic network created by rivers and wadis shall not be understood as exclusive. Also other, possibly contradicting, approaches are welcome. Rivers and wadis were migration and trade routes, but also represented “wilderness”, refuge areas for shifta , marked provincial and kingdom’s boundaries, were areas of negotiation between neighbors or sites of battles. They represented themselves sources for wealth, from access to irrigation to raw material such as river gold, and could thus become contested areas. The latter dynamics are of increasing importance especially in recent years, where rivers are newly perceived as sources of wealth for the nation, thus being claimed by the state against any local or international claims (such as the very different cases of the Blue Nile and the Awash illustrate). This panel shall be an occasion for an exchange of views on this new field of studies and possibly create a framework for new research.

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SELECTED PAPERS

Dr.

BLIESE Loren

Movement along the Wadis and Rivers of Uwwa Woreda Afar Region

Dr

Mr.

FICQUET, Eloi & ARAMIS HOUMED SOULE

Reflections on Lower Awash

Mr.

GETAHUN MESFIN HAILE

The Inundations of the Dä??atu and the Rebuilding of the Mägala Embankment in Dire Dawa, 1944-47: A Study of Some Municipal Correspondence

Dr

OSMOND Thomas

Awash River in Oromo Historical Narratives

Mr.

SINTAYEHU KASSAYE ALEMU & KELEMEWORK TAFERE REDA

Eastern Nile Riparian: ‘New Deal’ and Détente

Dr.

SMIDT Wolbert G.C.

The Wer`i River in Tigray - the role of a river in the organisation of sociopolitical and cultural space

Prof.

YACOB ARSANO

Hydro-diplomacy of the Nile: Prospects and Prognosis

PAPER SUBMISSION

Authors are advised to submit their paper to the Organizing Committee
before September 30, 2012
.

Papers will be published as pre-proceedings on the website, under each panel section.

Papers should be limited to ca. 5000 words or 30,000 signs (including spaces).

Papers have to be submitted online, by uploading under each panel section (go to the page of the panel in which your paper is selected and upload your text).

Papers can also be sent to the Organizing Committee (organization@ices18.org) with specification of panel number.

Submitted papers will be directly transmitted to the panel organizers and published online after approval by the panel organizers.

Guidelines to authors for formatting papers:

Transilteration systems for Ethiosemitic languages



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