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Pan Macmillan

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EFF Commissar Andile Mngxitama Links Land Dispossession to Slavery

Biko Lives!In an article for Chimurenga Chronic, Andile Mngxitama, co-editor of Biko Lives!: Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko, insists the loss of land is more than just a material loss.

Mngxitama, who is the Economic Freedom Fighters commissar for land and agrarian revolution, believes the historical – and contemporary – rhetoric used to excuse or explain away land dispossession should be challenged. He believes the loss of land affected African people on many other levels: “When we lost our land, it was part of the trajectory of the irreparable loss inaugurated by slavery.”

When one loses a lover, it’s not so much the loss of this beloved person, but a loss of ones capacity to love without fear again in the future. One grieves for not only the past, but also a future that is so linked with the present in ways that already are too damaging. A charred future? Without understanding the dialectical relationship between history and the future we end up being unconscious agents of a history we wish to obliterate. We have to plumb the heart and soul of history, crack open the narratives and data that organise our contemporary agonies and desires.

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