Much has been made about South Africa’s transition from histories of colonialism, slavery and apartheid. “Memory” features prominently in the country’s reckoning with its pasts. While there has been an outpouring of academic essays, anthologies and other full-length texts which study this transition, most have focused on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).What iMuch has been made about South Africa’s transition from histories of colonialism, slavery and apartheid. “Memory” features prominently in the country’s reckoning with its pasts. While there has been an outpouring of academic essays, anthologies and other full-length texts which study this transition, most have focused on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).What is Slavery to Me? is the first full-length study of slave memory in the South African context, and examines the relevance and effects of slave memory for contemporary negotiations of South African gendered and racialized identities. It draws from feminist, postcolonial and memory studies and is therefore interdisciplinary in approach. It reads memory as one way of processing this past, and interprets a variety of cultural, literary and filmic texts to ascertain the particular experiences in relation to slave pasts being fashioned, processed and disseminated.Much of the material surveyed across disciplines attributes to memory, or “popular history making,” a dialogue between past and present whilst ascribing sense to both the eras and their relationship. In this sense then, memory is active, entailing a personal relationship with the past which acts as mediator of reality on a day to day basis. The projects studies various negotiations of raced and gendered identities in creative and other public spaces in contemporary South Africa, by being particularly attentive to the encoding of consciousness about the country’s slave past.This book extends memory studies in South Africa, provokes new lines of inquiry, and develops new frameworks through which to think about slavery and memory in South Africa....
|Title||:||What Is Slavery to Me?: Postcolonial/Slave Memory in Post-apartheid South Africa|
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
What Is Slavery to Me?: Postcolonial/Slave Memory in Post-apartheid South Africa Reviews
I must admit; I know far too little about modern South Africa and how the debates about race and gender have proceeded since the end of the Apartheid regime. Hence my interest in this book.It is an excellent analysis of slave memory in South Africa, from a post-colonial feminist perspective. There are all sorts of interesting leads and asides and one of the great strengths of this book is the depth and breadth of the scholarship, with an excellent bibliography and chapter notes. It certainly hasn’t done my “to be read” list any good! There is s good deal I would like to follow up on. Gqola covers topics like the Cape Malay Diaspora, with an analysis of the role of food and some very interesting thoughts on spice; this is linked to the artistic work of Berni Searle (a South African artist; she works in film, video and photography amongst other mediums). There is an analysis of slavery in relation to Christianity and Islam and the way it differs in the two religions, especially in relation to the South African context. There is also a chapter on how the notion of whiteness has changed since the end of apartheid.One aspect of the book which I found interesting was the chapter relating to Sarah Bartmann. I wonder how many know her story. She was a Khoi woman who was taken to Britain for exhibition purposes in 1810 (she was known as “The Hottentot Venus”) and was shown if freak shows for some years. She was then sold to a French owner. She died in France in 1815. After her death her body was dissected and then her skeleton and preserved brain and genitalia were displayed in a Paris museum until 1974 (when they were replaced by casts. There was a campaign for her remains to be returned home; and they were in 2002. Ihad heard of Sarah Bartmann; I had a rather unusual history teacher pre university who took his (sometimes reluctant) students to places that the curriculum didn’t always direct or recommend. He told us about Sarah Bartmann and the horrors she had been subjected to, showing us the nature of racism, pointing out the importance of the story and the awfulness of her remains still being in a museum. His approach was unorthodox at the time, but it was important in setting me thinking about the world and about injustice (In 1977, the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, he got into a good deal of trouble for giving out “Stuff the Jubilee” badges!) This book brought him back to mind. That was a bit of a diversion. Gqola addresses this issue from an African feminist perspective; the writing is taut, scholarly and powerful and at times gave me goosebumps, it was so good (that’s not strictly an academic term, but it was the best one I could come up with to describe the feeling). Gqola uses quotes and often poetry to open each chapter and I noted she referenced two of my favourite authors, Grace Nichols and David Dabydeen. It is a well argued and passionate piece of writing which I would highly recommend.
Super mega interesting, not the best writing all the time making it less accessible to those who are not at home in memory or postcolonial studies. But yes, I am glad to have stumbled upon it :)