Author: Shaun Viljoen

Abstract

The chapter closely reads two memoirs by the South-African-born author Peter Abrahams – Tell Freedom (1954) and The Coyaba Chronicles (2000) – to excavate the main tenets of the writer’s worldview, from his early adulthood in South Africa to his later years in Jamaica. It argues that the outlook formulated and lived out by the writer is a hybridised one, combining a critical humanist, non-racial dimension with a pan-Africanist perspective. This combination of what could be considered separate and even incompatible ideologies – non-racialism and pan-Africanism – results in a hybrid pan-African humanism which Abrahams embodies and writes about throughout his adult life, in the various national and continental contexts he moves between and inhabits. Indeed, as a writer, it is argued, he explores his beliefs and experiences through lifelong experiments with hybrid fictional and autobiographical forms.

In: Moving Spaces
Creolisation and Mobility in Africa, the Atlantic and Indian Ocean
Moving Spaces: Creolisation and Mobility in Africa, the Atlantic and Indian Ocean addresses issues of creolisation, mobility, and migration of ideas, songs, stories, and people, as well as plants, in various parts of Africa, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean worlds. It brings together Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone specialists from various fields – anthropology, geography, history, language & literary studies – from Africa, Brazil, Europe, and the Indo-Pacific. It is a book which, while opening new perspectives, also intriguingly suggests that languages are essential to all processes of creolisation, and that therefore the latter cannot be understood without reference to the former. Its strength therefore lies in bringing together studies from different language domains, particularly Afrikaans, Creole, English, French, Portuguese, and Sanskrit.

Contributors include Andrea Acri, Joaze Bernardino, Marina Berthet, Alain Kaly, Uhuru Phalafala, Haripriya Rangan, Fernando Rosa, António Tomás and Shaun Viljoen.
In: Moving Spaces
In: Moving Spaces
In: Moving Spaces
In: Moving Spaces
Author: Shaun Viljoen

Abstract

This hybrid autobiographical/critical paper takes its cue from Yvonne Owuor’s paper in this volume, “Reading our Ruins: A Rough Sketch.” In her piece, Owuor combines a meditation on ruins—as physical, human, social and political—with the perspective of an autopsy, or “seeing for oneself”. In my paper I try to “see for myself” and in myself what it means to consider the ruins of District Six and the responses, individual and institutional, to its violent destruction. More specifically, I try to account for a recent oral history project completed by the District Six Museum which resulted in the writing of a food story and cookbook, District Six Huis Kombuis Tafel: Food and Memory Stories Cookbook (2016). My paper intersperses this critical account with italicised fragments of my own memoir (a work in progress) on District Six, apartheid’s psychic violence, home and food, that relate directly or tangentially to the critical segments. The memoir fragments provide a parallel tale of inner life that at times relates to and supplements the critical discourse, but also at times casts it into doubt.

In: Matatu
In: Matatu