A 19th century image of Parihaka, New Zealand, with Mount Taranaki in the background.
While tracing his own family’s journey from Ireland to Aotearoa New Zealand, Richard Shaw encountered how much ‘selective amnesia’ about the colonial past still shapes our lives today.
Land ownership in South Africa remains skewed towards white farmers.
David Silverman/via Getty Images
Land reform had not been held back by the constitution but by capacity constraints and a lack of political will.
In 2020, Liverpool became the first city in England to set up a land commission.
Songquan Deng | Shutterstock
Liverpool is the first city in England to investigate, via a land commission, how urban property can best serve everyone.
Land reform strategies portray the land as uniform, static and independent from its social-environmental context.
South Africa’s that current land reform strategies focus too narrowly on agricultural outcomes and transferred ownership - this undermines equitable and sustainable land reform.
The 1820 Settler Monument in Makhanda, Eastern Cape, commemmorates the arrival of 5,000 British colonial settlers.
Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
It is not hard to see the roots of 20th century apartheid policies in the legacy of the British settlers.
A cemetery in Phola, a black residential area near Witbank, to which some graves were relocated to make way for coal mining.
Mining companies and some heritage consultants don’t understand the sacredness attached to ancestral remains, and the meaning of land in African communities.
As a society, we need to address the role of farming in dispossession and violence in the colonial-settler era.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation
The farmer has long been held up in society as the ‘real Australian’, but this image ignores the role of agriculture in dispossessing Indigenous people of their lands and culture.
Workers harvesting from a commercial farm in Ethiopia.
Many African countries are still searching for inclusive commercial farming models that can bring in private investment without dispossessing local people.
Lack of support for beneficiaries of land reform in South Africa has seen many new farmers fail to live off the land.
South Africa’s government makes much of its efforts of putting more land in the hands of the previously disenfranchised black majority. Yet, many beneficiaries continue to wallow in poverty.