We exist in a time and a space that is torn in all sorts of directions. The devils of our day are disguised in our Political and Economic Champions, those that prop up the structures that bind us to tracks that create boundaries and limit agency. Structures that we are born into. Granted forced citizenship and propelled into active service of ideals haphazardly sewn together, here we are, adopting cage like identities.
We exist in a time and a space where the Individual is King. An individuals social mobility en route to material prosperity is a dream projected onto young and old bodies alike. Like an arranged marriage between two unwilling candidates. Bound in an unholy union. Committed in ceremony, somehow unceremoniously, by symbolic gestures that mark the cyclic futility of what it is to be “alive”. Embodied by the shape, form and scars left by the Ring.
We exist on a continent. Not unlike several others. That bears the scars of colonial rule.
Built on the backs of bodies treated as Natural Slaves. Built by the hands of the cruel.
Now though, rebuilt on the promise of plurality. Yet constricted by the reality of practical conditions that prevent this promise from ever being fulfilled. Plurarlity embraced in principle.
Treated with disdain and suspicion.
Even at the suggestion. Of alternative ways of life. Coming into fruition.
You know, there was an old saying here in South Africa.
“All roads lead to Johannesburg”.. And I guess now, sometimes Cape Town.
The Lands of Opportunity.
It’s a familiar story. Of Urbanization.
Flirting with the simultaneous phenomenon of Globalization.
Inwardly look though. The country seems to desire to pour into our Internationally acclaimed Capitals.
And understandably so. After all, I too moved here.
As we pour into these cities. Do we leave behind the lands, the lives and communities behind that leave the glass half empty?
When I think about how we struggle to fulfill our commitment to Land Reform – and with it’s many tragic reasons.
I think about the tensions behind the shape and trajectory of our “development”. The contradictions and restrictions on the form of the nation “we” want to make.
With the success of the Gospel of the value of Individual Autonomy.
How many of us, find ourselves locked in the economies of concrete cities built on the ideas dreamt through Western Philosophy.
There is a slow death of the community, in the Capitalistic city.
Intertwined with the legacy, of the pain, and irreversible consequences of migrant labour systems – there seems to be so many forces pushing us further and further away from lives that embrace and value the participation and the sheer existence of “The Community”.
We experience the dream of the freedom of the Individual. At the expense of the collective consciousness that I think is required, to rid you of the effects of your internalized paralytic self hate.
Continue to praise and pride the pursuit of an individual life. And accept your jailed fate.
And so we must retaliate.
In direct response to the reality of the Modern Day.
We must dethrone the Individual.
We must create conditions for community driven thought.
Through this the practice and tangible engagement we desire will be materialized.
We need to create more public spaces where our children. Our sisters, brother. And ourselves.
Can meet and engage with one another.
Break bread with one another.
Engage in sport with one another.
Debate with one another.
Relate with one another.
We need to challenge the corporate machinery that govern so many of our lives. In meaningful ways. By forcing them to build their practices that embodied our human needs, in the context of the community.
We need to reclaim our time.
We need time.
Time is a form of Capital. And it is yet another resource that at the expense of the impoverished is monopolized by the Wealthy.
We shouldn’t have to wager office hours and the needs for profit with our participation in Community Health. And Safety.
We need to challenge the existence of the police. And their role as protectors of Justice.
We need to explore community driven ideas of resolving conflict. And entertaining a plurality of ways of achieving the goal of Justice and Reconciliation in several different contexts.
We need not focus our mental energies. On the activity of committing our brothers and sisters to mass incarceration.
We need to dig and develop Community driven economies. Through collective action, participation and investment – in it’s various incarnations.
In 10 to 15 years, it would pain me to no end to see Langa, Mfuleni and Khayelitsha residents still in a paradigm..
That sees their places, their spaces as resources for manual labour. To shine the Internationally acclaimed beauty of Cape Town City.
Let’s be allies for the development of community level economies.
Not rushing our efforts in energies in lower transport time and cheaper costs at the terrific rate.
Ensuring that black bodies find their way to work for white capital. Cheaper and Faster.
No just. No.
If we want to talk about the spirit of Ubuntu. And to embrace it.
Let’s focus on creating the conditions necessary to experience the fullness and richness of Ubuntu-type philosophy in the Modern Context.
Build the community.
Fight against the seeming inevitability of alienation.
Resist a modernity that is unconscious of the richness of what can be achieved together.
Let’s do it.
– Don Quixote