Writing a South African Pandemic Moment: Inequality and Violence in The Lockdown Collection

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25159/1753-5387/10415

Keywords:

Covid-19, lockdown, creative nonfiction, inequality, violence

Abstract

This article examines how the overwhelmingly dominant genre in The Lockdown Collection (2020), the personal essay, is an appropriate medium to capture the immediacy of the initial hard lockdown in South Africa because of its brevity and resonance. While the essays react to policies of virus containment, the loss and alteration of social conventions, they inevitably reveal the identity of each author and how that identity sits in the imagination of South Africanness. This appellation itself incorporates and complicates fraternities that are race and class based in a context of acute inequality and ubiquitous violence. The essays display an awareness of the strong relationship between these two aspects and writing about them appears as an antidote to fear and a desire for a better South Africa, as learnt from and suggested by the challenges of Covid-19.

Opsomming

Hierdie artikel bestudeer hoe die genre wat oorweldigend dominant is in The Lockdown Collection (2020), naamlik die persoonlike essay, 'n geskikte medium is om die onmiddellikheid van die aanvanklike streng inperking in Suid-Afrika vas te vang—vanwee die beknoptheid en weerklank daarvan. Terwyl die essays 'n reaksie op beleide van virusbekamping, die verlies en wysiging van sosiale konvensies is, word die identiteit van elke outeur uiteraard onthul. Dit wys ook hoe daardie identiteit in die verbeelding van Suid-Afrikaansheid daar uitsien. Hierdie benaming opsigself beliggaam en kompliseer gemeenskappe wat op ras en klas gebaseer is in 'n konteks van akute ongelykheid en alomteenwoordige geweld. Die essays toon 'n bewustheid van die sterk verbintenis tussen hierdie twee aspekte—en om daaroor te skryf blyk 'n teenmiddel vir vrees en 'n hunkering na 'n beter Suid-Afrika te wees, soos die uitdagings wat Covid-19 meegebring het suggereer en ons inderdaad geleer het.

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References

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Published

2022-03-16

How to Cite

Ndlovu, T. . (2022). Writing a South African Pandemic Moment: Inequality and Violence in The Lockdown Collection . Journal of Literary Studies, 38(1), 16 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/1753-5387/10415