Lessons on Political Culture and Consciousness From Struggles of the Global South

Rise Up Times

 “Culture is not a mere artefact or expression of aesthetics, custom or tradition. It is a means by which people assert their opposition to domination, a means to assert agency and the capacity to make history. In a word, culture is one of the fundamental tools of the struggle for emancipation.”   

Abahlali baseMjondolo in Caoe Town   Photo source: libcom

“It took me a period of two and a half years to understand a ‘we’ and ‘us,’” says T.J. Ngongoma, recounting how he joined Abahlali baseMjondolo, or “Residents of the Shacks,” a South African grassroots movement. In March 2015, Ngongoma spoke with students in Grahamstown, South Africa, many of whom participated in what became a mass revolt of university students later that year. He spoke about sustaining a “political-social movement”: the importance of democratic practices…

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