Editorial Notations on Decolonisation. To the Sounds of Ornette Coleman. In 15 Notes. An Experimentation
By Sithembiso Mdlalose
Positioning. a postcolonial subject?
I write and perform from a particular position – at a moment in history where ideas about decolonialism and decoloniality are making rounds and are fashionable in peoples tongues. Randomly drop the words in a conversation and you’re officially a part of the ‘woke’ club. I’m also located at “a place of blackness”, or, to use Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s words, “under western eyes”, which is to say that, from this particular position, I’m located on the outskirts of humanity and thought itself. Therefore it becomes impossible for me not to launch a critique of western thought. To decolonise?
“Decolonization is the veritable creation of new man. But this creation owes nothing of its legitimacy to any supernatural power; the ‘thing’ which has been colonized becomes man during the same process by which it frees itself”, Frantz Fanon writes in The Wretched of the Earth (1963).
A program of dis-alienation?
Mbhekezeli’s Horror by Sithembiso Mdlalose
I saw Biko at the University of Cape Town
carrying a bucket of faeces
shouting vehemently “Rhodes Must Fall!”
Biko was standing next to the Rhodes statue
and as he was shouting
he shoved the bucket of faeces at the statue.
The media dubbed him “the poo protester”.
I again saw Biko being accused of sexual misconduct by his comrades at UCT.
I saw Biko blocking the entrances at the University of the Witwatersrand
chanting “Fees Must Fall!”
I saw Biko wearing a red beret.
Biko wears many hats of different colors.
Biko also has many T-shirts of many different colors.
The one is red,
the other is yellow and green,
and he also has a blue one.
I saw Biko on TV admiring Hitler.
I heard of Biko fucking a white woman.
I saw Biko shutting down university campuses in South Africa.
I heard him talking about decolonization,
although he could not elaborate any further what that meant.
I was with Biko in the bus to Pretoria.
When we got there
Biko burned down the toilets.
I heard Biko was wired R40 000.00 into his account by the ruling party.
I saw Biko on Destiny magazine wearing a green, yellow and black doek.
Are our efforts (to de-colonise) a reiteration of (including in others’ enjoyment of it) the anti-Blackness of the world? (My MA Thesis).
“Violence in the modern world underwrites the Black person’s capacity to think, act, and exist spatially and temporally” – Red, White and Black.
“Decolonization is always a violent phenomenon” – The Wretched of the Earth.
“Mama look, a Negro!”
Colonial relationality. Relationality between Whites and Blacks. Relationality between Humanity and Blacks. The dead and the living. Relation between the dead and the world…
“What would the politics of a dead relation, a slave, look like?” Wilderson writes (RWB).
Is there available a grammar of suffering to properly articulate blackness?
The end of the world
The only thing in the world that’s worth the effort of starting:
The end of the world” – Fanon.
I dream fanon’s dreams. dreams of violent phenomenons. violence. death and fire on the church. black god come and intervene. wake up. wake up from your slumber oh dear lord. the white god has taken captive of everything. he rules on top of black bodies. commanding his troops to keep me at check. wake up oh black messiah. wake up from your slumber. set this world on fire. fanon’s dreams. an undoing. decolonise. however implausible. accumulation and fungibility. decolonise the mind? Ngugi. #FeesMustFall. decolonisation: an affirmation of the violence that structures black subjectivity. a dead end.
“If I seem free, it is because I’m always running” Jimi Hendrix. “She’s got a fast car” Tracy Chapman. “Flight is the language of the fugitive” Saidiya Hartman.
10/07/2016 – Sthe.
woke and staying woke
look at me I’m a negro.
“I began to weep.”
In this issue:
Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes – Jarred Thompson
Porcelain – Tobi Nimisire Emitomo
My Mind Is Colonised – Fatima Moosa
How Much is Your Bible? – Xola Stemele
EXODUS – Jeremy T. Karn
Colonisation – Nkateko Masinga
The Theory of Evolution – Ibanez
African Portraits – Ben Freakzz