17 October 2017 - Some no one called SANKFOA
The context/ inspiration for this article is a Native American poet named Layli Long Soldier's work - specifically a poem by her called "38" attached below is the link.
It is a worthwhile read and speaks to the traumas of erasure as well as dehumanization which occurs as a result of involuntary dislocation.
Fess must fall has fallen, but the fees haven't fallen.
Fees must fall has fallen- but the fees haven't fallen.
Fees must fall has fallen? but the fees haven't fallen.
Fees must fall has fallen... without the fees?
Fess must fall has fallen -
the ambit of "well documented" history books and scholastic articles -
it has fallen silently [violently],
violently into the depths of comrades souls and designated recedes of our memories,
at least I imagine as much,
because no one is talking about it anymore,
at least that's what everyone tells me,
that no one is talking about it -
I guess the sound of my voice in my head is no one then.
I know no one
and how she was coloured in by trauma,
how somehow that trauma looks like the pigment knitted beneath her skin
how trauma sometimes sounds like the sight of people who you thought you loved,
how trauma was 'dealt with',
ticked off on the list of things that campus health is mandated to deal with
but I know no one that it helped.
It helped no one?
I know no one who speaks of fees must fall- not anymore.
No one bled last year,
and this year she bleeds out her trauma onto tired computer keys,
making meek attempts at trying to compute how an emotional genocide took place this time last year and no one is speaking about it.
no one is talking about it,
about how the library became a battle field littered with battered bodies,
black bodies battered by black bodies
black bodies battered by men in black
black bodies battered by a history which designates our bodies as construction sites - tabula rasa ; blank spaces - erasure as colonialist theory would have it,
"the natives have nothing so we'll give them something" - speaks the triumphant voice of 400 years of colonization and 50 years of Apartheid in "our" history textbooks.
"bodies of knowledge about how the world works
and we'll call it history.
We'll call it's origin 1652 because of course nothing and no one existed before then, well nothing worth taking note of,
We are gravity,
We underpin all things called intellect and give meaning to all things -
just as God intended it.
We'll call them a work force that needed us to develop into anything that resembles civilization,
we will ignore that our wealth was built on their backs, on their land,
and we'll call it liberty and it is all that they will try and fail to obtain,
because liberty belongs to gravity and the savage cannot understand gravity."
No one heard the whisper of colonialism beneath my fingertips in history class in high school.
No one heard that same whisper as we slept in the library.
I remember how no one stood nestled between books enscribed by colonialist ideas of liberty and I remember the insult I felt when I found out the purpose of the men in black; they were there to protect the books.
The same bodies of knowledge that enscribes and perpetuates the idea that liberty is limited to those who can gain access to the capitalist club called univeristy,
the same bodies of knowledge which house half - truths about the assignment of land and the reason that those lazy blacks have none
the same bodies of knowledge which are trophies of the colonialist exploit
the same bodies of knowledge that need to be intellectually torn down - in the process of learning and unlearning perhaps justice looks like them being cornered off as historically inaccurate
perhaps justice looks like an intellectual uprising, a marxist revolution, a necessary intellectual inversion of district 6 ?
perhaps it looks like a forceful removal of the ideas that the only land that people of colour occupy is that of the moral high ground -
perhaps it looks like the cadres in high school in Maritzburg,
victimized by men in black,
as if being black in white spaces is not enough of a rebellion as is -
comrades you are seen.
perhaps it is a new breed of social engineering which would allow us to inherit more than intergenerational trauma and the burden of rebellion
perhaps it is a new breed of social engineering which betrays notions of undeserved pacifism for the truth,
the truth as Africans would have it.
The truth as Miriam Makeba wrote it -
"You don’t expect the people who came to invade us to tell the truth about us."
A truth which could obliterate the double-consciousness of W.E.B Du Bois.
The irony did not escape me -
that intellectual banks, called books, called the library
bore witness to another genocide - as if their pages didn't document enough of them
you see the irony escaped no one,
The fact that for a day access was blocked to the library and students complained that they were being denied a right to education -
as if an 8% fee increase doesn't have the same effect
that we called,
we labored over a well articulated call for decolonized education
in a building that is complicit in erasure,
as it stands now,
the turn styles have no recollection of the violence exacted on black bodies a year ago,
the library has no trigger warning that the peaceful silence it holds is, in itself violent.
An erasure of fees must fall has taken place
and no one knows about it.
No one talks about it.
No one talks to me about it.
Reduced to a pictograph recollection as I walk down Victoria street,
the cop cars,
the new age state of emergency -
it was an emergency except that the government doesn't seem to think so,
seemed to think that the emergency was the "protestors" flooding the streets
not the content taught in lecture halls
the government didn't seem to think...
the government doesn't seem to think...
I recall fees must fall.
I recall the cry of cadres,
I recall how we sang the same songs sung by our oppressed parents
I recall the cry of my ancestors carried over foreign seas in caskets that were afloat,
I recall the cries of those who were on land - annoucing the arrival of our oppression
I recall how those songs were carried over the span of history which we now call intergenerational trauma
I recall how we converged on the rooiplein as if summoned by our inheritance of oppression - we converged on land,
now an unfamiliar reserve that we call the rooiplein crying out for access.
The red plain- coloured in by the blood of our ancestors laboured brick by brick, presided over by the wit baas who now looks down on us in the form of a statue as our presence offends his positionality- and yet he stands.
The irony does not escape me that I'm paying for an education that may be teaching me wild inaccuracies cemented by years of oppression now called a cirriculum.
The irony does not escape me that I may be paying to formally learn how to be a mortition - see this black body has come to exhume graves of collective amnesia.
This black body studies intellectual bodies of knowledge assigned to her to obtain a degree that may be teaching me that the degree of trauma experienced by people of colour has not been recorded enough... no not nearly enough... not at all.
This black body.
See this black body.
See this black body.
See this black body.
See this black body always used to wonder how genocides could take place time and time again and go undocumented, uncommemorated, unkown-
and no one seems to know.
I know now.
No one knows.
It was not just the Sioux 38.
It was the stellenbosch 11.
An 8% fee increase on the table -
It's assigned seating,
designated by a long standing tradition of respectability politics called colonialism.
8% - unaffected by the national call for free decolonized education.
Fess must fall has fallen upon deaf ears once more.
The genocide of economic exlusion has returned in an 8% fee increase -
coupled with erasure the task team of gatekeeping education has been reassmbled behind doors closed to us centuries ago.
But no one is talking about it.
A Cabinet reshuffle.
A New Minister of Higher Education and Training - the same saga.
Fees must fallen has fallen.
Has fees must fall fallen ?
or has the burden of fees must fall crushed those of us who used to sing songs of (hoped for) freedom...
A GENOCIDE HAS HAPPENED.
A GENOCIDE HAS HAPPENED.
AN INTELLECTUAL GENOCIDE IS HAPPENING.
A GENOCIDE CALLED ERASURE IS HAPPENING.
FEES MUST FALL HAS FALLEN?
but then again - no one is talking about it.