Resisting the Conceptualization of Theft as Resistance and Informing as Collaboration: Capitalization Strategies on Angola’s Colonial-Era Diamond Mines, 1917–1975
This chapter examines African laborers involved in stealing diamonds and/or informing on others engaged in this form of larceny on the mines of the Companhia de Diamantes de Angola (Diamang), from the monopolistic enterprise’s inception in 1917 until Angolan independence in 1975. Both of these entrepreneurial activities enabled African employees to augment unsatisfactory salaries, yet were also laden with risk—especially diamond theft, which could lead to corporal punishment, imprisonment, or even death. I argue that although these pursuits initially appear contradictory, when conceptualized as capitalization endeavors, they are complementary, or even fungible, pursuits. By reframing these actions, it is clear that the ways that they subverted or reinforced corporate and/or colonial structures were only of incidental concern to African practitioners.