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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Graphic novel histories: women's organized resistance to slum clearance in Crossroads, South Africa, 1975-2015
Author:Benson, Koni
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:women's organizations
urban housing
informal settlements
comic strips
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2016.10
Abstract:In this commentary the author gives background information on the 'Crossroads' series, first published by Cape Town's Isotrope Comics in 2014. It is a six-part comic book series that tells a history of African women's organized resistance to forced removals and their ongoing struggles for housing in Cape Town. The women protested their living conditions at the peak of apartheid, and again in 1998. The author, based on her Ph.D. dissertation, and in partnership with the local artists André Trantraal and Nathan Trantraal (known as the Trantraal Brothers) and Ashley Marais, developed a graphic or cartoon history drawn from dialogue with women who continue to organize for their right to obtain housing. The history draws on sixty life narratives of so-called 'squatter' women in Crossroads, the longest surviving African informal settlement under apartheid in Cape Town. The series represents the makers'determination to explain why African women were involved in gender-based organizing in Crossroads in the 1970s and 1990s, what they accomplished, and simultaneously, how the methods of collecting and presenting this history play a fundamental role in shaping the story. The series aims to fulfill the request of veteran activist women in Crossroads to collaborate in capturing their story in a way that would captivate their children and grandchildren who claim 'boredom' by the 'past', to reclaim it from problematic dominant narratives, and to move the story away from being significant only to those who lived it. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]