Searching for South Africa
From 1994 to 2009, the Republic of South Africa has seen unprecedented change. The contributions to Searching for South Africa set out to test the legitimacy and utility of this general consensus. The authors actively refuse to travel the path of transition. Instead, they write from the articulatory cauldron of the current social movements in South Africa to seek something better, as well as something other, than a language of transition. With intense and speculative critiques of sites of struggle, the essays range in focus from the campaigns of outsourced workers at the University of Cape Town to the 'informal high school' Masiphumelele in the Mandela Park section of Khayelitsha; from the Anti-Eviction Campaign to the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee; from the Anti-Privatization Forum to the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the African National Congress. In each instance, the authors attempt to trace the new calculus of dignity among the indignant social majority. Searching for South Africa takes a serious critical reflection of knowledge production, as writing in and on social movements in South Africa. It raises critical questions on the economies of knowledge - who gets to say what, why, where, and how. In raising these questions, the authors attempt to understand individual and collective issues of representation, marginalization, and omission. The essays function as part analysis, part manual, part manifesto. Each essay celebrates the real and manifest capacity of South Africa's masses to value their own lived time through an assertion of agency.
Publication Date: 3/17/2011