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TIES THAT BIND

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Imprint

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TIES THAT BIND


Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa

EDITED BY SHANNON WALSH & JON SOSKE

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CONTENTS
Acknowledgements
vi
List of figures
ix

Thinking about Race and Friendship in South Africa

With Friends like These: The Politics of

Jon Soske and Shannon Walsh


01

Friendship in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Sisonke Msimang
29

Bound to Violence: Scratching Beginnings and


Endings with Lesego Rampolokeng

Stacy Hardy and Lesego Rampolokeng


47

Afro-Pessimism and Friendship in South Africa:


An Interview with Frank Wilderson III

Shannon Walsh
69

The Impossible Handshake: The Fault Lines


of Friendship in Colonial Natal, 1850-1910

T. J. Tallie
99

The Problem with We: Affiliation, Political


Economy, and the Counterhistory of Nonracialism

Franco Barchiesi
125

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Affect and the State: Precarious Workers,


the Law and the Promise of Friendship

Bridget Kenny
167

A Song of Seeing: Art and Friendship


under Apartheid

Daniel Magaziner
193

Friend of the Family: Maids, Madams, and Domestic


Cartographies of Power in South African Art

Neelika Jayawardane
217

10

Corner Loving: Ways of Speaking about Love

11

Kutamba Naye: In Search of Anti-Racist

MADEYOULOOK
247

and Queer Solidarities

Tsitsi Jaji
269

12

The Native Informant Speaks Back to


the Offer of Friendship in White Academia

Mosa Phadi & Nomancotsho Pakade


295
Contributor biographies
316
Index
318

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Acknowledgments

Every edited collection succeeds on the basis of the dedication of its


contributors, but this volume especially has built on years of conversations,
exchanges, and friendship, some in person, some online, some through the
mediation of scholarship. Without these friendships, this book would not
have been possible.These interlinking and rhizomatic connections continue
to sustain us, and are the intellectual basis from which this project flows.
In the final stages, we have benefitted from the careful reading and
constructive feedback of Kate Elizabeth Creasy, Franco Barchiesi, Veronica
Klipp and T. J. Tallie. We were encouraged and challenged by the valuable
insights of Mark Hunter,MeghanHealy-Clancy, and the audience at our
panel on Race and Friendship at the African Studies Association meeting in
2015. Thanks to Terri Barnes at the same panel, for helping us to see the long
history of conversations that this book arises from. We are also indebted to
Nadine Gordimer for discussing friendship and fiction with Lewis Nkosi.
At Wits University Press, our brilliant editor Roshan Cader brought
patience, intellectual acuity and creative insight to the process of making this
book a reality. Jill Weintroubs close reading and enthusiastic copyediting
have made the volume stronger in many aspects. For editing an early version
of the manuscript, our thanks go to Casey Burkeholder and Bing Czeng. Our
anonymous peer reviewers too contributed erudite and generous observations.
Thanks to the Ernest Cole Family Trust, specifically Ms. Gunilla Knape,
and to George Hallett, for allowing us to use their beautiful photographs. For
her brilliant scholarship, and permission to use her poem, our deepest thanks
to Gabeba Baderoon.
In South Africa, the contributions to the life of this volume are enormous.
I (John Soske) am specifically grateful to the organizers of the Love and
Revolution conference series (especially Patricia Hayes, Premesh Lalu, G.

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Arunima) and the participants, especiallyThembinkosi Goniwe,Ashraf


Jamal,HelenaPohlandt McCormick,andGary Minkley, all of whom have
planted the seeds that inform my thinking about friendship and race in
South Africa. I am indebted to Ellene Centime Zeleke and Premesh Lalu
for discussions about the relationship between civil society and the native
question.
Over the past decade I (Shannon Walsh) have been challenged, sustained
and encouraged by an incredible range of friends, scholars, comrades,
and activists in South Africa too numerous to name here. I trust that you
know who you are. It has been humbling to be invited to share in the rich
intellectual and political life of this country. My primary debt in thinking
about friendship in South Africa goes to Mandla Oliphant and Wonder
Marthinus. The complexities of friendship, intimacy and race have been made
real to me through the love and perspective I have gained from my adopted
children, Hlengiwe, Thulani, Mamazana, Ayanda, Lwazi, Luisa and Thando.
Without the intellectual and political engagement of Denis Valiquette, and
our shared friends and comrades, I could not have considered the politics of
friendship and its relation to everyday life as intensely. Deep gratitude goes
to Eugene Arries who sustains me, indulges my ramblings, and makes me
an altogether better person. Finally, thanks to Laurel Sprengelmeyer whose
empathy, patience, inspiration, and enduring friendship has been the greatest
gift of my adult life.
This work has been supported by an Early Career Scheme grant from the
Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,
China, Project No. 21608915.

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LIST OF FIGURES

Chapter 9 Friend of the Family


Figure 9.1
Image from House of Bondage Ernest Cole Family Trust
Figure 9.2
Image from House of Bondage Ernest Cole Family Trust
Figure 9.3
Image from Ernest Cole: Photographer Ernest Cole Family Trust
Figure 9.4
Image from House of Bondage Ernest Cole Family Trust
Figure 9.5
George Hallett
Figure 9.6
George Hallett
Figure 9.7
George Hallett
Chapter 10 MADEYOULOOK
Figure 10.1
Photographer Andreas Vlachakis
Figure 10.2
Photographer Andreas Vlachakis MADEYOULOOK
Figure 10.3
Photographer Andreas Vlachakis MADEYOULOOK
Figure 10.4
Photographer Andreas Vlachakis MADEYOULOOK
Figure 10.5
Photographer Andreas Vlachakis MADEYOULOOK
Figure 10.6
Photographer Andreas Vlachakis MADEYOULOOK

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Love itself, the subversive gift, is an important


public good, and loving is a significant political act,
particularly among those stigmatized and marked as
unworthy of love and incapable of deep commitment.
Richard Iton, In Search of the Black Fantastic

From now on, all friendship is political.



Comit invisible, LAppel

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Fanons secret

The grape picker holds out


his hand full of fruit but turns
his face, the slight, unavailable cast
of his head his most precious possession.

The woman who cleans your house


all day is in the places you cannot be,
touches your sheets.

You hate
what is held back,
not known to you,
kept, stolen, enchanted.
Gabeba Baderoon

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