Understanding and Locating the History of Violence and Modes of Mourning

28 Aug New

Presented by:

  • Aldrin Sampear: Journalist
  • Anima McBrown: Independent Creative
  • Kathleen Jennings: (Postgraduate, Rhodes University)


In this Webinar we consider the representation of masculinities in South Africa. Locating the debate in u-Mqhayi’s ([1917]/2001: 129) treatment of inkundla ka Maqoma – wherein u-Maqoma arbitrated on the matter of i-koboka nomlungu – we tease out the representations of Black masculinity and violence. This historical account acts as the premise for a debate on how we can begin cultivating healthy masculinities that move away from the historical traumas of violence and disjuncture.

Predicating the debate on the Black Archive, both in its visual and literary form, we consider two questions. Can Black masculinities break free from historical violence and trauma, and as a subsidiary question – how does a society rooted in historical trauma systematically address violent masculinities, without seemingly absconding from the personal responsibility to be assumed by perpetrators of violence? In the second sense, is the imagination of healthy masculinities coupled with a resurrection of Black/Indigenous conceptions of personhood that are not rooted in continuous responses to whiteness? Simply put, is it time for a self-referential identity formation project that does not take, as its starting point, the historical reality of colonialism and violent subjugation?