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Academic shares personal account of hyperapartheid

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya of UKZN’s School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS) shared his personal account of hyperapartheid as part of a seminar series at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya
Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya

Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya of UKZN’s School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS) shared his personal account of hyperapartheid as part of a seminar series at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

Ngcoya described his presentation as ‘a story of an oppressed and dehumanised people’ and as ‘a dark theoretical musing about the post-liberation period.

 ‘Many moons ago, Baldwin warned that the black “is a social, not a personal or human problem – for to think of her is to think of statistics, slums, rapes, injustices, remote violence”. This blanking of the black reigns supreme in the social sciences,’ said Ngcoya.

‘Our work as scholars is therefore anchored on a dominant professional language and method that privileges certain places and people as authors, and declares as universal particular ways of knowing.’

In his presentation, Ngcoya examined how to expand the generally narrow and exclusionary theoretical coda and include other ways of knowing, the use of narratives, vignettes, and stories to expose and unravel the subterranean scaffolding that keeps apartheid alive.

He ultimately tried to locate the place of personal experience in academic research and writing.  

Through the prism of tourist travel, Ngcoya used autoethnography and the narrative form to interrogate the ‘thingification’ of black subjects in tourism. ‘Tourism has been touted as South Africa’s post-apartheid peace dividend. Indeed, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation has identified tourism as one of the key anchors of its strategies, with contributions to GDP expected to hit R500 billion by 2020. Yet, to many South Africans tourism is illusive and troublesome,’ he said.

Ngcoya recounted his own experiences of tourism beginning with a first encounter on a fateful night in 1993 and his continued struggles with this global phenomenon. He uses all these experiences to illuminate what he terms hyperapartheid.

The paper was published in the Journal of Narrative Politics 2, no. 1 (2015) and it’s available at: http://journalofnarrativepolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/7-Ngcoya.pdf

Melissa Mungroo

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