These Are The Things That Sit With Us (Paperback)
Large format coffee table book
edited by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Friederike Bubenzer, Marietjie Oelofsen
This book makes visible undocumented everyday experiences that shaped the lives of ordinary South Africans during the country’s brutal and painful past. It is a record of things that “sit” within all of us. By sharing their memories, the storytellers map the scope of the wider, and difficult, conversation about the meaning of justice and the missing parts of the discourse of reconciliation in South Africa. It creates a space for a conversation about South Africa’s history and what it means to talk to and to hear the other within the context of this history.
In publishing each story in Xhosa, Afrikaans and English, we hope that the book will stimulate conversation among South Africans across languages. We hope that it will enable South Africans to connect with one another in a manner that seeks mutual understanding about the complicated aspects of our shared history and its continuing impact on the lives of individuals and communities. It is for this reason that we have compiled the collection of stories in this book. Stories - people narrating their memories of life under apartheid - can help introduce an alternative understanding of the painful aspects of their traumatic pasts. Twenty years after the TRC, this book is testament to our understanding that justice and reconciliation is not merely an event or a legal process but an on-going process that requires people to talk publicly about the effects of colonialism and apartheid on South Africans, and the need to listen to one another’s stories.
The book gives publicity to undocumented everyday experiences that shaped the lives of ordinary South Africans during this country’s brutal and painful past. As such, it is an effort to depict a conversation about the meaning of transformation. We hope that by sharing their memories in this book, the storytellers will contribute towards a deeper understanding of the suffering that underpins this country and shapes our contemporary dispensation.
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