Contestations of visibility - a critique of democratic violence

Abstract

Analysing the contestation that was inaugurated by the #RhodesMustFall movement, I think through the ways in which it – this contestation – signalled an attempt at reclaiming Black ontology in the Historically White University (HWU). Tracing the uses of what has been defined as democratic violence, I showcase how this response is misplaced owing to the neglect that has characterised the Black Archive in the University. In simple terms, my argument makes a case for the uses of alternative responses as opposed to democratic violence. This is rooted in a desire to see Black ontology treated with the deference deserving of this category of being, in a space that has been historically defined by the denigration of Blackness, i.e. the HWU. I begin by defining democratic violence for the purposes of setting-up my critique of this response. In the second move, I showcase how an alternative can be sourced from the Black Archive, which has been neglected. I conclude the article by highlighting how a Fanonian conception of violence is misplaced in our context.    Isingeniso Ngokuhlaziya uqophiswano osi susa salo kwaba umbhikisho wabafundi, phecelezi umbuthano wabafunda owaziwa nje ngo #RhodesMustFall, ngicabanga – kabanzi – ngombono othi lolu  qophiswano lwaluhlose ukubuyiswa kwe sidima sabantu abansundu kwizikhungo zemfundo ephakeme, ikakhulukazi kulezi zikhungo ezazehlulela ngo kwebala. Ngokulandela ukusetshenziswa kodlame osi susa salo ku ngu kulwisana nengcindezi, ngiqokisa ngokuthi udlame lolu kungenzeka ukuthi ngabe lulandela inyathuko edukileyo – ngenxa yokungasetshenziswa ko lwazi oludidiyelwe ngo kwenqolobane equkethe ulwazi olususelwa kwamasiko kanye nobuciko bakithi, njengabantu abansundu. Kalula nje, umbhalo wami uhlela indlela yokusetshenziswa ko lwazi olwahlukile – kunodlame oluphendulana nengcindezi yeningi yakuleli. Lokhu ngikususela kwi sifiso sokubona ubuntu babantu abansundu buhlonishwa endaweni efisa ukutshala inkolelo yokuthi nempela ihlonipha isidima sabantu abansundu. Ngiqala kuchaza kabanzi ngalo udlame lolu olulwisana nengcindezi yabantu abansundu kuleli, ngenhloso yokumisa, noma ke yokuqondisisa, inkulumo mpikiswano eqondene nalo lolu dlame. Ngokwesibili, ngitshengisa inyathuko eyahlukile esingayisusela kwi nqolobane le, ebikade inganakiwe selokhu kwathi nhlo, umbuso wentando yeningi kuleli. Ngiphetha ngokuphakamisa umbono engiwususela ku-Fanon – lapho ebhala khona ngokulwisana nengcindezi, ngibeka umcabango wokuthi mhlawumbe lokhu akubekayo akusiyo impendulo kuleli lakithi.

Author Biography

S.H. Kumalo, Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria
Siseko H. Kumalo, is a PhD candidate working in the area of Political Philosophy, with a specific focus on the question of belonging and national identity in South Africa. He is the editor of the forthcoming volume entitled Decolonisation as Democratisation: Global Insights into the South African Experience (HSRC Press) and co-editor of Decolonising Curricula and Pedagogy in Higher Education:  Bringing Decolonial Theory into Contact with Teaching Practice, (Routledge) a book that comes from the recently co-guest edited special issue of Third World Thematics entitled ‘Decolonising Curricula and Pedagogy in Higher Education’. His most recent publications include Justice through Higher Education: Revisiting the White Paper 3 of 1997, published with Higher Education Quarterly, and Curriculating from the Black Archive — Marginality as Novelty that appears with Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL).

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Published
2021-03-21
How to Cite
Kumalo, S. (2021). Contestations of visibility - a critique of democratic violence. South African Journal of Higher Education, 35(1), 143-160. https://doi.org/10.20853/35-1-4412
Section
Special Section