The art of recontextualisation

Some of the reading I’ve been doing for the Masters is around context, simply because context determines culture to a very large degree, and part of the thesis is about indigenous and local knowledge systems and the proposed decolonisation of the prevailing global knowledge systems. And, furthermore, the concepts (words, ideas, etc.) we use determine our context – or at least our perception thereof! This is probably why language forms such a large part of culture.

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Mzansi on the mind

It’s no secret that I miss Africa, home, ikhaya, pretty much every day. Some days, Mzansi is a tiny ant crawling on my small toe for a moment, other days, it’s the hadeda screaming in my head and seemingly making a nest in my hair. Nonetheless, I believe I am here to stay. A pale African on a crowded island.

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Leaving footprints

The first time I came to England, in 1997, I was introduced to the relative joys of public transport. I was on a Working Holiday visa, and like the rest of the Southern Hemisphere Commonwealth youngsters in London at the time, I made full use of the system. A car was certainly not on the agenda. Neither did it come into play when I moved to England in 2006 and stayed for four years – of which a year was out in Kent and with a bicycle (which I had bought from a retired chimney sweep in East Sheen for £30 before I moved from Kew).

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A wrinkle of my feet

After a very long break from running because of a ‘tiny’ but persistent injury, achieved just over two and a half years ago, I decided in November last year to start running again. For the first two weeks it went really well, I obviously took it really slowly and managed to get some running bits in in between the walking, but not kill myself in the process. And I loved being out again, and the way it made me feel afterwards. Joy!

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What is sacred?

As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning, I came across a post by someone who I have only been following for a short while. In the post, she describes the contents of her pantry, and it is accompanied by a photo of jars and jars of supplies. She also provides a great exposition of how pantries, as in the days of yore, were the culmination of a sacred process – which has sadly over the decades been replaced by trips to the supermarket. You can read the post here (and you should, it’s really lovely).

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