Private lives and public cultures in South Africa

Monday, 20 May, 2013 - 15:00

Presented by : 
SarahNuttall

This introductory essay considers how we might forge a critical language to discuss an emerging constellation of cultural production in South Africa: that which focuses on the work of ‘intimate exposure’ in order to shape a public private sphere, which in turn forges forms of citizenship unavailable, or submerged by, a history of segregation. We ask the two following questions in order to better understand the dynamics of desegregation and re-racialization in twenty-first century South Africa: what is at stake in the dynamics of private exposure, particularly, but not limited to, the work of contemporary artists, be it exposure of the self or exposure of the lives of others out of aggression or tenderness, as a gesture of ordinariness or excess, in relation to strangeness or love? Moreover, how do new dramas of secrecy, confession and exposure map onto or circumvent the staging of these issues during the apartheid years, which, itself layering over the scars of the colonial period, provide the subterranean foundation across which recent events play out? Addressing these and other questions takes us through a series of debates animating the current global and South African cultural studies.

Paper: 

PDF icon Nuttall2013.pdf

General seminar arrangements

  • The WISH seminar is hosted on-line every Monday afternoon at 16:00 - 17:00 SA during the teaching semester.
  • For the details of the Zoom meetings, please sign up for email notices at https://wiser.wits.ac.za/mail.
  • Participants must read the paper prior to the seminar, which is typically available by the Friday preceding the seminar.
  • The WISH seminar archive is available here
  • A printable version of the seminar schedule for the current year is available here.