Inventive new methods of audio-visual mediation and aesthetic activism have been giving shape, since at least the mid-2000s, to feelings of despair, disappointment, and rage at the injustice that South Africa’s colonial and apartheid histories continue to trail in their wake. Wayward Feeling reveals how racism, sexism, and other forms of structural disenfranchisement have continued to assert themselves in affective terms, and how these terms have been recast in spaces both public and intimate in "post-rainbow" times.
Helene Strauss argues that the tension between aspiration and achievability has yielded modes of feeling that increasingly disrupt the thrall of post-apartheid nation-building and reconciliation myths, even as wide-spread attachment to the utopian ideals of the anti-apartheid struggle continues to shape dissenting political organising and cultural production. Drawing on a variety of audio-visual forms – including video installations, conceptual artwork, documentary film, live art, and sonic installations – Wayward Feeling examines some of the affective resources that people in contemporary South Africa have been drawing on to make difficult lives more bearable.
About the author
Helene Strauss is a professor in the Department of English at the University of the Free State.