Decoloniality of a special type: solidarity and its potential meanings in South African literature, during and after the Cold War

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Volume 50, p.466–477 (2014)



This article addresses questions of solidarity in South African literature before and after the confluent endings of apartheid and the Cold War. Examining works by J. M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and Alex La Guma, it highlights how solidarity as a theme has emerged in different forms and narrative settings, often tied to related considerations of utopia and dystopia. Alex La Guma’s travel memoir, A Soviet Journey (1978), is foregrounded in particular as a literary work examining this theme as well as symbolizing it through the Soviet Union’s support for the anti-apartheid struggle. The article concludes with a consideration of decolonial thought in Latin American studies as a contemporary set of conversations providing a potential intercontinental solidarity of the future.

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