Water, Sand, Molluscs: Imperial Infrastructures, the Age of Hydrology, and German Colonialism in Swakopmund, Southwest Africa, 1884–1915
How did nature challenge German colonialism in Southwest Africa? What role did water, sand, and a small mollusc play as Germans tried to establish their first and, in many ways, only settler colony? This paper explores the events surrounding the town of Swakopmund, a small coastal settlement defined as the main entry point (Eingangstür) into German Southwest Africa at the time. As a case study, Swakopmund arguably provides an excellent framework when showcasing the importance of widely underestimated environmental protagonists in the construction of the German Empire; it also underlines the value of incorporating environmental history more broadly into discussions of German colonial fantasies in the age of hydrology.
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media