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Two hospitals; two discourses Finnish missionaries and South African apartheid
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5295-2482
2014 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents two hospitals in northern Namibia and discusses the architectural design as embedded in two different political discourses which generates entirely different forms. One is Onandjokwe hospital constructed by Finnish missionaries in 1911. The other, Oshakati hospital, inaugurated in 1966, was the first governmental hospital in this part of Namibia as a response to the international critic of apartheid neglect of black people’s health. There are major differences between the hospital design and construction management of the two hospitals. Discursive differences are visible in construction, building material and layout including spatial separation of patients as well as staff.

The paper also frames the hospitals in the wider politico-geographical process in which South African warfare in the area from 1966 to 1989 is central. The two hospitals became associated to the two different antagonists in the conflict. Oshakati hospital became a part of the South African war machinery, while Onandjokwe became a “terrorist” hospital where wounded guerilla soldiers searched for care. The major South African army base was constructed just adjacent to the Oshakati hospital. Three other governmental hospitals were also constructed in the area during the conflict as a part of the strategy to “win the hearts and minds” of the local people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
architecture, hospital design, apartheid, missionary medicine, Namibia, border war
National Category
Architectural Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112149OAI: diva2:763838
ARCH14 the International Conference ARCH14 on Research on Health Care Architecture, November 19-21, 2014 | Espoo, Finland
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2015-04-22Bibliographically approved

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