A new issue of The Salon is out! And it chronicles the one-of-a-kind travel project that took 58 scholars from 25 countries across South Africa.
Guess what! I was one of those 58 lucky passengers who left Johannesburg on a two-week journey through Swaziland, Durban, King William’s Town, Ginsberg, Qunu, and Cape Town.
As you can expect, it turned out to be an unforgettable intellectual experience.
The trip was part of a yearly workshop held in Johannesburg and hosted by the University of Witwatersrand.
Every summer, the university welcomes scholars from different parts of the world to participate in an intense intellectual event called Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC).
In 2014, the workshop topic centered on the stories and philosophies of the anti-apartheid struggle. We could either talk about this expansive and contested history of struggle in conference rooms or we could go to those places where these struggles took place.
The organizers of the workshop went with the latter and that was how we all found ourselves assembled in a massive tour bus exploring the sites of South Africa’s racial history.
I blogged, tweeted, and facebooked about the experience last year.
But earlier this month, something really cool happened. The 8th volume of JWTC’s official journal came out and the entire issue is dedicated to stories and essays written by people on the bus about their experiences.
If you’re interested in getting a sense of what it looks like when scholars come together to think and talk about African issues, I recommend that you check out the journal, all of which is available to read online and for download. All for free!
My interview with the American thinker and activist, Angela Davis, is in the issue. The documentary video made by Tjasa Kancler is really cool. Hassan Hage, Fredo Riviera and SA Smythe feature a set of intriguing handwritten notes. Tana Nolethu Forrest and Naadira Patel have photo essays that give a visual spin to the experience. Danai Mupotsa and Sarah Caterpillarwings Godsell capture the experience through poetry. Achille Mbembe and Kelly Gillespie both have essays that do a good job of exploring the intellectual possibilities of the project as a whole. There is also a youtube channel where you can watch loads of cool videos.
Post image by Tana Nolethu Forrest.