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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The frontier revisited: displacement, land and identity among farm labourers in the Sundays River Valley
Author:Connor, Teresa K.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies (ISSN 0258-9001)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:displaced persons
land rights
local history
agricultural workers
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589001.2012.662612
Abstract:This paper examines the dynamics of displacement and the relationship of physical movement to elements of space (i.e. land) and place (or identity) in the Sundays River Valley, near the town of Kirkwood, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It primarily uses the motif of frontiers to cast light on displacement as an ongoing phenomenon and explore the different eras of occupation of land in the Sundays River Valley, from the early nineteenth century until 1970. It relates different layers of belonging and identity to the unfolding of capitalism and apartheid in South Africa. The article argues that ties to land are multiple, contested and based upon dispossession and physical movement rather than upon stability. While such a high degree of contestation of oral evidence in the Sundays River Valley might not give current claimants a detailed legal basis for restitution, it is an academically valuable idea to explore the origins of the inhabitants in the Sundays River Valley because it can indicate the degree to which local identities are influenced by experiences of disruption and displacement. The paper argues that frontier relationships in the SRV are central in the formation of larger systems of relationships of race and class, and that this casts new light on displacement (both as a historical event and a contemporary experience), in the formation of identity and place in southern Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]