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ERIC Number: EJ847746
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0160-5429
"Inkumbulo" as Remembering, Communing, and Praxis: Retelling the Stories of Transformation and Learning
Dlamini, S. Nombuso
International Education, v36 n1 p32-45 Fall 2006
In this paper the author looks at what it means to tell, live with, and learn from stories of painful losses resulting from traumatic histories, the most recent history being apartheid. The author's examination centers on the concept of "inkumbulo," a Zulu word that embraces several concepts crucial in studies of historical memory and its meanings. A simplistic and direct translation of "inkumbulo" would be "to nostalgically remember," in a sense that can be associated with Freud's notion of mourning and melancholia. A more nuanced understanding of "inkumbulo," however, can be used to study those stories that are told purposively to teach and transform the social consciousness of the listener to facilitate a conversion from obvious surface meanings and understandings to philosophically critical positions of social and political occurrences. Through the reflective story presented in this article, the author hopes to demonstrate that within oral cultures, women's stories of the past--despite their marginalization in Western academic spheres--are never told without educative and learning purposes. It builds on other South African women's writings that have questioned the impact of locating "inkumbulo" within formalized structures such as those of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The proceedings of the TRC reflect the attempts of post-colonial entities to face, learn from, and live with the past. Since the TRC was designed to address only those losses that were classified as political, other "losses that were not the direct effect of the state's activities, even if they were indirectly determined or marked by them, are now under threat of remaining unarticulated". This story that the author embarks upon, therefore, articulates such forgotten losses, while at the same time questioning the way that states in general, and the South African state, through the TRC, in particular, classified/defined whether or not activities that led to loss were a result of the political struggle against apartheid. (Contains 9 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa