Category Archives: Essays

The burning – what of it?

No! Thoughtful as her response to the burning is, and chilled as many of us are by the symbolic violence made manifest, I cannot simply accept not only expecting but demanding more of emancipatory movements than we do the establishment that oppresses them as a point of departure.   Can we reasonably expect or even demand,

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Parliament Betrayed our SABC

In 1992, when the Campaign for Open Media campaigned alongside the United Democratic Front to demand the demise of the apartheid regime’s release of the erstwhile SAUK to the people, and transform it into an open, transparent public broadcaster, it would be Cyril Ramaphosa who would set out one of the most significant principles underpinning

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Facing your complicity in white supremacy hurts, but suffering it hurts more: On being a good white

In November, last year, I received an message from an old friend from university concerning my attitude towards white supremacy and the complicity of white bodies in it through acts of whiteness. I probably read and re-read it a great many number of times, fiercely debating with myself whether I should ignore it, give a

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Your anti-racist Black friend is not your personal race-barometer: on being a good white

So, last week, I found this video of a Phil Donohue discussion on race and racism which aired on PBS in America, about 22 years ago. I found it rather astonishing that this conversation is being had, today, on the same terms as it was then. Interestingly, one of Phil’s guests says exactly the same in 1992.

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Feminism is not for everybody, although it can be

This morning I read Danielle Bowler’s commentary on the good versus bad feminist debate in her column We are all bad feminists, and that’s okay. While I’m all for a nuanced and reflexive critique on feminisms and their limitations in order to better develop and strengthen the movement, I found myself puzzled by what read to

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Fracturing Pink Unity – thoughts on Pride and challenging the centre

On the eve of Cape Town Pride, I sat in conversation with a group of queers at a reception honouring a woman who works with lesbian survivors of sexual violence. Set around a quaint table overlooking the lush landscaped garden of the stately residence in Newlands we had been invited to, we discussed the “divisions”

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The toilet wars: take your shit and live with it

  There is a big stink in Cape Town. Literally. For some years, now, the so-called “toilet wars” have been a recurrent feature in the political battles waged in the Western Cape. The first of these was highlighted in 2010 when Khayelitsha residents took to the streets over undignified, uncovered toilet structures the City of

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This is “corrective rape.” These are its rules.

Earlier this week, the newspapers reported the discovery of another dead and mutilated lesbian body. Yet another poor, Black, landless, queer body with a vagina has been killed and the story, we’re told, is because she was gay. As the routine letters of condemnation from State, public and political officials came in their multitudes, and

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