Sam Longford

Fellow: History Department, PhD

I am currently working on an M.A. thesis, which will attempt to engage with debates surrounding colonial racism, and the interrelated ways in which anti-Communist and anti-Semitic propaganda was mobilised against the ‘Commie Red’ during apartheid. It is premised from a desire to understand how authoritarian institutions authorise and reinforce oppressive social, ideological, and cultural norms, and will consider how these processes contributed to the ways in which different groups perceive, interact, and engage with one another in the contemporary. This framework will allow my study to thematically engage with broader issues surrounding colonial racism and identity formation, particularly in relation to the role of the Dutch Reformed Church, the grammatical coding and normalisation of colonial discourse, the limits of citizenry and the state, and the instrumentality of fear. This work for me begins in the archive and ends within the public domain in the form of a curatorial engagement which facilitates conversations between the academy and the general public. Therefore, this thesis will be carried out alongside a parallel project that attempts to engage with fear as a curatorial medium of engagement. This project aims to think with fear and its affects as a means to address histories of oppression and objectification, particularly in relation to the camera and its role in ordering and categorising colonised people according to racist hierarchies of power.

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In line with protocols introduced by government towards the prevention and containment of the COVID-19 virus, the CHR suspended its public events, seminars, and general fellowship program until further notice.  We wish CHR fellows, students, artists, colleagues and friends, as well as our partners and funders in South Africa and across the world much strength and compassion in these difficult times.


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