By Kerry Bystrom
Concentrating on aesthetic figuration diversified domestic areas, modes of family existence, and relatives histories, this ebook argues that depicting democracy because it unfolds actually at domestic offers a compelling portrait of the intimate and daily features of swap that may be ignored via a spotlight on structural issues in South Africa.
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Extra resources for Democracy at Home in South Africa: Family Fictions and Transitional Culture
It was a strange place; it felt like a cave. As we entered it I felt like I was walking on the skulls and bones of dead people” (65; see also Samuelson “Walking” 131). ”23 Yet for these very reasons paying attention to the micro-politics of family life and home spaces, to the openings and closures of freedom registered in the substance and affective textures of 18 DE MO C R AC Y AT HOM E I N SOU T H A F R IC A our interactions there, is crucial. As what Andrade calls an “ac[t] of strong reading” (39),24 focusing our gaze on the historical period of democracy as experienced at home can be a first step to making home and homeland more democratic in a deep and ethical sense.
As Robert points out, it is a “Foundling, to whom his true parents—royal, needless to say, or at least noble and inf luential—will eventually reveal themselves and restore him to his rightful status” (162). 4 Substitute a generic child dreaming that he is a Foundling of noble birth with a white South African dreaming that he has ancestors of different races, and we have a resonant model for understanding the behavior of De Klerk and others cited here. As we will see, it is a model generative in both positive and negative ways throughout the extended democratic transition.
Similarly, Meg Samuelson underscores the centrality of engagements with family and home in contemporary South African literature and poses “walking through the door and inhabiting the house” as one of the most important tasks of the transition (“Walking”). While this act can entail inadvertently rebuilding the exclusionary homes of the past, Samuelson calls rather for constructing new visions more suitable to democracy. Challenging traditionally gendered ideas of home as a zone of comfort and safety, and “tack[ing] back and forth between ‘home’ as figuration and home as physical space” as well as between public and private, she asks us to imagine “habitations that are unhomely, and commitments that are not centered on a comforting sense of belonging; .
Democracy at Home in South Africa: Family Fictions and Transitional Culture by Kerry Bystrom