Kronos: Southern African Histories <p><em>Kronos: Southern African Histories</em> is published annually by the Dept of History and the Centre for Humanities Research at UWC. It is an accredited South African journal that aims to promote and publicise high quality historical research on southern Africa. The journal also encourages comparative studies and seeks to break new ground in its dynamic integration of visuals and text.</p> en-US (Janine Brandt) (Mark Snyders) Thu, 28 Apr 2022 08:28:52 +0000 OJS 60 field Salem, 2018 <p>Simon Gush is an artist and filmmaker living in Johannesburg. His work examines work, labour and land. He completed a postgraduate certificate at the Hoger Instituut Voor Schone Kunst, Ghent and a MA Sociology), University of the Witwatersrand and is currently a PhD (History) candidate at Rhodes University.</p> Simon Gush Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape iMpuma-Koloni / Eastern Cape <p align="justify">The project from which this special issue emerges began in 2019 in a workshop at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, entitled, <em>iMpuma-Koloni Bearings: An Other Cape</em>? The call to this workshop brought together a group of scholars from various universities and locations in southern Africa who had a commitment to critical history, to reconsidering the implications of the discipline in the colonial and apartheid project, and to addressing a continued reluctance of the discipline to engage with the critique of history.</p> Ross Truscott, Helena Pohlandt-McCormick, Gary Minkley Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Coloniality and its Future <p align="justify">Decoloniality emerged in the last two decades as a new mode of critique against colonialism and coloniality. While its insights are inspired by dependency and postcolonial theories, decoloniality challenges them both, particularly their inability to depart with modern Western epistemology. Written in response to Arjun Appadurai's recent critique of&nbsp;<em>On Decoloniality&nbsp;</em>by Catherine E. Walsh and Walter D. Mignolo, this article attempts to articulate decoloniality's approach to epistemology and discourse analysis. Whereas Appadurai describes Walsh and Mignolo's position as an anachronistic attempt to "return to the precolonial past," this article underlines his inability to transcend the modern linear order of time.</p> Achia Anzi Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape field Salem, 2018 Simon Gush Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Frontier Mail: The Liberal Subject and the Post Office in South African History <p align="justify">This essay brings postal history and postcolonial theory into an encounter, considering the history of the Post Office in South Africa, stretching from its emergence under Dutch rule at the Cape. Turning to postal history reread under the sway of postcolonial theory may enable a rethinking of apartheid, what apartheid carried from the systems of government and administration that preceded it, and though this remains at the edge of the essay, largely undeveloped but certainly there what, in turn, of apartheid has been carried into post-apartheid South Africa. The essay forms part of an ongoing project that considers the relation between social institutions and subjectivity.</p> Ross Truscott Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Notes on the Origin of ‘the Chase’: Artefacts of an Indigenous Racing Tradition in Transkei <p align="justify">In 19<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;Century Transkei, crowds would gather to watch whole herds of cattle charging over several kilometres in the popular sport of&nbsp;<em>uleqo.&nbsp;</em>This sport became untenable due to environmental conditions and colonial responses to those conditions. Horses replaced cattle in the racing tradition and&nbsp;<em>uleqo&nbsp;</em>was effectively relegated to a footnote in the history of the area. This article draws together the few remaining descriptions of&nbsp;<em>uleqo&nbsp;</em>in the Eastern Cape. It does so to ask two main questions: what can we learn about&nbsp;<em>uleqo's&nbsp;</em>exclusion? And, what might including the remnants of&nbsp;<em>uleqo&nbsp;</em>offer? In answering these two questions this article will draw upon the idea of an 'artefact, which is simultaneously a remnant and a defect in an image. Here, 'artefact' is used also to refer to archival fragments, and to the distortions that ignoring them may have produced. By focusing on&nbsp;<em>uleqo,&nbsp;</em>it is argued, we can appreciate some neglected ways in which the people of the now-Eastern Cape altered their daily practices in response to the colonial project.</p> Craig Paterson Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Another Image of ‘Community’ at the South End Museum <p align="justify">This paper considers some of the curatorial devices used in exhibitions at the South End Museum in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). The South End Museum, which opened on 3 March 2001, is modelled in several respects on the District Six Museum in Cape Town: it, too, is an urban-based, self-defined 'community museum' constituted around the histories of the apartheid Group Areas Act and the implementation of forced removals. Like many post-1994 museums in South Africa, the South End Museum relies on photographs for their displays, whilst also making use of maps, a mural and reenactment. The paper considers the ways in which these different displays touch, recall, reflect and activate one another. Keeping in mind that the notion of 'community' in South Africa bears the burden of being raced by its apartheid and colonial pasts, and abiding by the spectrality that is constitutive of the image, the paper grapples with the haunted space of 'community museums' in the Eastern Cape. While the South End Museum deploys some of the same curatorial devices as the District Six Museum, and deals with related histories of forced removal, South End, it is argued, brings the relation between race, indigeneity and 'ruin' within 'community museums' into fleeting focus.</p> Michelle Smith Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape In the Event of History: Reading the Mime of Memory in the Present of Public History <p align="justify">Premesh Lalu's 'In the Event of History' was written in 2000, before the publication of his first book,&nbsp;<em>The Deaths of Hintsa: Postapartheid South Africa and the Shape of Recurring Pasts&nbsp;</em>in 2009, as a preparatory statement for his doctoral study on which it was based. 'In the Event of History' is published here for the first time, lightly revised. While the outlines of the argument of the Hintsa book are clear enough, it is addressed, as it is not in&nbsp;<em>The Deaths of Hintsa,&nbsp;</em>to the field of public history. Noting how productive public history's notion of 'making history' has been as discussed in the introduction to this special issue and in 'In the Event of History', it foregrounds the ways in which the past is mediated in and by the present Lalu identifies a limit to public history: it leaves the spatio-temporal signifier, 'the present', largely unthought. To think through the genealogy of this problematic, Lalu turns to different nationalist narrations and commemorations of Hintsa, the nineteenth century Xhosa king who was killed by British soldiers in 1835. Attuned to the numerous critiques of nationalism, what Lalu aims to abide by here are 'the openings that nationalism established within its concept of the present'. The paper juxtaposes public history and nationalist texts of memory 'to define a crisis for the discipline of history, as Lalu writes, 'a crisis where critical history may set about doing its work'. That work, for Lalu, is a practice of reading, in a present that offers anything but a secure and stable ground. The argument is made twice, as it were, in the content and form of Lalu's deft readings, and in the disjunctive present in which he will have returned to the figure of Hintsa. If Lalu's reading of 'the present' puts it in question, 'the present' from which he reads is one that is, at once, sedimentary, fragmentary, and, in the psychoanalytic terms he deploys, one of afterwardsness. This paper drafted more than 20 years ago not only engages the theme of this special issue, but it also uncannily addresses and questions our present.</p> Premesh Lalu Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Intsebenzo Izuza Ntoni? <p align="justify">The documentation and analysis of work is still critical in today's context as job scarcity widens and people are seen to have to create work for themselves and others. This means that the concept and reality of work has also become more complex. The paper explores the work forms of different groups of informal women workers in East London and sheds light on how the women navigate the work they do and how the work affects other aspects of their lives. The women are involved in the public food-making systems of work where they prepare and cook different types of food and trade these items. The work that the women do is the primary focus of the study, and the labour of these women informs us about the nature of working on the side-lines, the constraints of informality and the setbacks of precarity. The women go into detail about the work they do, and through their accounts we get to see the effort and the time the women put into selling good food to their customers and the sacrifices the women take as workers and mothers. The paper also touches on formal and informal discussions of work and the complexities that the cases arrive at, when explored through South African local contexts. Is formal and informal work really worlds apart or is the gap between the two being bridged as inequality widens?</p> Uthandile Nikelana Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Headlands and Headings: Re-locating the Coloured Category <p align="justify">In this paper I make two arguments: first, that the Western Cape has always functioned as the epistemological heading of the 'coloured' category. This is because it is in the Western Cape where the category first emerged as a descriptor for the 'mixing of blood', and where knowledge around the category was first produced through the appointment of commissions of inquiry. In addition, intellectuals in the Western Cape based primarily at Stellenbosch University (SU) also produced knowledge by drawing on the concept of heredity, and attaching inherited racial traits or characteristics to the 'coloured' category. The second argument is that by the late 1930s, a new epistemological heading emerged in the Transvaal, where intellectuals from the University of Pretoria (UP) would engage with the category through the emerging discourse on&nbsp;<em>bloedvermening&nbsp;</em>or miscegenation. To these Pretoria-based intellectuals, 'coloured' was no longer just a marker for the 'mixing' of blood that originated in the Western Cape, but represented a threat to the heredity of the Afrikaner&nbsp;<em>volk&nbsp;</em>in the Union as a whole. Intellectuals in the Transvaal were less concerned with ascribing hereditary traits to the 'coloured' category, and more preoccupied with how those characteristics would affect the white racial imprint through miscegenation. By arguing that the Transvaal emerged as a new heading on the 'coloured' category, I am suggesting that another epistemological direction is on offer one that departs from the form, the sign, or the logic of the heading of the Western Cape.</p> Janeke Thumbran Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape The Subject as Migrant: Refiguring the Migrant Image in the Eastern Cape <p align="justify">This paper engages with the concept of the migrant subject, as framed through contemporary literature on migrancy, and read through the Pauline Ingle photographic collection, located in the Eastern Cape. As against gendered historiographies of labour migrancy and the associated meanings attributed to the rural as a site of social reproduction, Ingle's photographs invite a series of atypical readings that unsettle these subjectivities. Rather, they suggest social and political acts that presage and constitute a migrant citizenship, one that undermines the dichotomy of the rural (traditional) and urban (modern) and projects the possibility of reading the history of the subject in the Eastern Cape differently.</p> Candice Steele, Gary Minkley Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Pondo Blue(s): Working through Sounding a Kind of Blue(ish) History of an Eastern Cape <p align="justify"><em>Pondo Blues</em>,&nbsp;is a song by Eric Nomvete and the Big Five, a group that came from East London to perform at the Moroka-Jabavu Stadium as part of the 1962 Cold Castle jazz festival. Although the song has acquired symbolic meaning and recognition as one of the 'classics' in South African jazz, prevailing understandings of the song have framed it as a traditional drinking song as well as a song lamenting the Mpondo revolt, where both these understandings have tied it deeply to the rural Eastern Cape. This paper tracks the sonic and social relationships of disarray, change and improvisation that come together to rehearse&nbsp;<em>Pondo Blues&nbsp;</em>across space and time, and atmospheres of history which move us away from&nbsp;<em>iPhondo&nbsp;</em>as the provincial Eastern Cape, which is tied up with the rural, the ethnic, the backward countrified folk and the local towards a more expansive and infinite sense/s of pasts and futures.</p> Sinazo Mtshemla Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Elizabeth Edwards - Photographs and the Practice of History: A Short Primer <p align="justify"><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">Elizabeth Edwards, Photographs and the Practice of History: A Short Primer (London, New York, Dublin: Bloomsbury, 2021), 176 pp., ISBN 9781350120658.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">Upon receipt of your copy of&nbsp;<em>Photographs and the Practice of History</em>, I encourage you to first read the bibliographic afterword and peruse through the section titled 'Selected Reading' of the book before delving into its substantive chapters. This is because while Elizabeth Edwards refers to her publication as a short a primer, scholars of photography, visual history and visual culture will recognise it as a culmination of not only her oeuvre at a theoretical level, but also a filtering, a synthesis and meditation on key debates that have characterised critical literature on photography and the philosophy of history in the recent past, presented in a most succinct fashion that is characteristic of the author's deceptive ease. Both the bibliographic afterword and the subsequent selected reading list at the end are a testament to this effort to coalesce and think through this past scholarship. In the preface, Edwards notes that while she hopes historians of photography and visual historians will find it interesting, the book 'is for students, the discipline's new generations, who are starting to think with photographs within historical studies' (p. x).&nbsp;<em>Photographs and the Practice of History&nbsp;</em>combines pertinent engagement with ease of access thus making it an excellent resource for such readers</span></p> Phindezwa Mnyaka Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Derek Hook, ed., Lie on Your Wounds: The Prison Correspondence of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe <p align="justify"><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">Derek Hook (ed.), Lie on Your Wounds: The Prison Correspondence of Robert Mangaliso (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2019), 565 pp., ISBN 9781776142408.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">Derek Hook's useful and timely&nbsp;<em>Lie on Your Wounds: The Prison Correspondence of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe&nbsp;</em>brings together in book form the letters of the Robert Sobukwe Papers, an archive currently held at the Wits Historical Research Papers in Johannesburg. Given that the papers were already fully digitised and have been publicly available and easily accessible for some time, it is relevant to ask what Hook's edited volume brings to the growing interest both scholarly and popular in Sobukwe that is new.</span></p> Emma Daitz Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape The Militant Listener: Reading Mongane Wally Serote’s Sikhahlel’ u-OR alongside Walter Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History <p align="justify"><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">The Militant Listener: Reading Mongane Wally Serote's Sikhahlel' u-OR alongside Walter Benjamin's Theses on the Philosophy of History</span></p> <p align="justify"><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">In&nbsp;<em>Sikhahlel' u-OR: A Praise Poem for Oliver Tambo</em>, Mongane Wally Serote presents an unflinching yet delicate meandering through the questions, reflections and provocations resistance history offers up through O. R. Tambo's life. As Ciraj Rassool points out, in this work Tambo appears not as an individual, but as an integral node in a web connecting various lives. This counter-neoliberal interpretation of Tambo's life offers what Michael Löwy calls 'a heterodox form of the narrative of emancipation' rebuilding the struggle hero narrative along a decentred framework. By radically dislodging this narrative, Tambo is portrayed as the 'non-iconic icon' he was esteemed to embody, and in this move, the poem, notably, points to the dearth of dialectic politics, both in our quotidian praxis, and the commemoration of others. Aptly, Serote's work contributes to what Souleymane Bachir Diagne and Jean-Loup Amselle describe as a 'total decentring of all thought, one that rejects all "centrisms" and highlights instead branchings and connections, transfers, analogies and reciprocal influences between cultural places and intellectual fields that may be distant but are not distinct in space and time'.&nbsp;To this end, the poem presents us with a constellation of historical actors who flicker on the horizon, beckoning us to engage in the labour of freedom ('here we go again / the hour demands us to be daring once more / to emerge from a possible storm').</span></p> Retha Ferguson Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape Contributors <p>Contributors to this issue.</p> Ross Truscott, Helena Pohlandt-McCormick, Gary Minkley Copyright (c) 2022 Kronos: Southern African Histories Tue, 26 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Commemoration | Centenary: Memorials and the Making and Unmaking of Settler History <p align="justify">This discussion originally took place as part of the&nbsp;<em>Sounding the Land&nbsp;</em>exhibition curated by Simon Gush, Helena Pohlandt-McCormick, Craig Paterson and Gary Minkley at the virtual National Arts Festival that ran from 25 June 5 July 2020.&nbsp;<em>Sounding the Land&nbsp;</em>( intended to use the bicentennial of the so called 1820 settlers' arrival as a critical platform from which to discuss the legacies of the settler colonial project, the ways in which it is commemorated, and to reassess the historical understandings of the 1820 settler moment in South African history. In the following discussion, which took place via Zoom Video Communication and was originally recorded on 2 June 2020, between Leslie Witz in Cape Town (6 pm South African time) and Helena Pohlandt-McCormick in San Francisco (9 am Pacific time) they talk about the cyclical and accumulative power of anniversary and commemoration, the ways they set in place temporal certainties that align past, present and future, and how configurations of memorial space through visual technologies are authoritative mechanisms in establishing the time and times of history. They discuss strategies of resisting such memorial power and whether the simple inversion of historical figures and events may inadvertently serve to reinforce anniversary histories of founding. By linking the contemporary moments of the interview the COVID-19 pandemic, the postponement of settler commemorations, the virtual National Festival, and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis they consider dystopian futures as inaugurating the possibilities of disruptive memorial time that constantly exposes the fractures of racial violence and colonial dispossession rather than masking it through either the commemoration or the inversion of the anniversary.</p> Leslie Witz, Helena Pohlandt-McCormick Copyright (c) 2021 University of the Western Cape