Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics, and the Struggle for Home

Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics, and the Struggle for Home

by Anne-Maria Makhulu

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In Making Freedom Anne-Maria Makhulu explores practices of squatting and illegal settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town during and immediately following the end of apartheid. Apartheid's paradoxical policies of prohibiting migrant Africans who worked in Cape Town from living permanently within the city led some black families to seek safe haven on the city's perimeters. Beginning in the 1970s families set up makeshift tents and shacks and built whole communities, defying the state through what Makhulu calls a "politics of presence." In the simple act of building homes, squatters, who Makhulu characterizes as urban militants, actively engaged in a politics of "the right to the city" that became vital in the broader struggles for liberation. Despite apartheid's end in 1994, Cape Town’s settlements have expanded, as new forms of dispossession associated with South African neoliberalism perpetuate relations of spatial exclusion, poverty, and racism. As Makhulu demonstrates, the efforts of black Capetonians to establish claims to a place in the city not only decisively reshaped Cape Town's geography but changed the course of history. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822375111
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 09/30/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,018,677
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Anne-Maria Makhulu is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke University. She is a coeditor of Hard Work, Hard Times: Global Volatility and African Subjectivities

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vii

Prologue  xi

Introduction  1

1. Migrations  27

2. Counterinsurgency  63

3. Transitions  95

4. "Reckoning"  129

Conclusion. Making Freedom  153

Notes  169

References 199

Index  221

What People are Saying About This

Violence in a Time of Liberation: Murder and Ethnicity at a South African Gold Mine, 1994 - Donald L. Donham

"We tend to think of South Africa in terms of its heroic struggles. Anne-Maria Makhulu shows us just how much we can learn by appreciating its quieter and less dramatic subaltern moments. In doing so, she places the expansion of shack settlements in post-apartheid Cape Town within the larger transformations of a global context."

Witchcraft, Intimacy, and Trust: Africa in Comparison - Peter Geschiere

"Anne-Maria Makhulu sketches a moving picture of the often desperate struggles of squatters against the apartheid state in their efforts to make possible some sort of combination of work and family life. She also highlights important shifts and continuities under post-apartheid and the turn to neoliberal policies. Making Freedom is a major contribution that will impact the historiography of South Africa, urban studies, political economy, and anthropology of the state, market, and violence."

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