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Sharad Chari, "From Progressive Segregation to the Ruins of Revolution: Ruinous Dialectics in Durban"
Lecture Abstract: After the Depression, state projects in South Africa were invested in transforming space in the interests of capital and vitality. Durban City Council became more adept in plots and plans for spatial change, while segregation and industrialization remained contradictory and piecemeal. Apartheid’s spatial fix abstracted this expertise in forging elaborate work of science fiction that made everyone strangers in their own land. In industrial Durban, this estrangement would prove productive of a new kind of radical politics. The spatial dialectics of revolution in Durban speak more widely to emergent politics in an era of postcolonial government of wageless life.
Sharad Chari is an associate professor at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, and the Anthropology Department, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. His first book, Fraternal Capital, explains the politics of production in one of India's most dynamic industrial districts, the knitwear industry in Tiruppur, Tamilnadu, as an outcome of gendered, agrarian and class processes. Since 2002, Sharad has been conducting long-term ethnographic and historical research on the remains of racial capitalism in post-apartheid South Africa, as witnessed through two neighbourhoods adjacent to oil refineries and other polluting industry in the city of Durban.