Under Cover of Darkness // 22 March 2021 - online

Uncovering Women's Invisible Labour in the Cape

From the website: As part of the extended Under Cover of Darkness project, Uncovering: Women’s Invisible Labour at the Cape, was an online symposium which took place on Monday, 22 March 2021.

This symposium, curated by Dr Carine Zaayman, Jade Nair and Nina Liebenberg, considered the legacy of women’s labour in the Cape, from colonialism to the contemporary. Many industries in the Cape are still reliant on the labour of women of colour, not least of all, the clothing and textile industries and the service and cleaning industries. This symposium aimed to consider the lives of the twelve women slaves highlighted by the Under Cover of Darkness exhibition as a foreshadowing of the extant or still existing relationship between women of colour and labour in the Cape.


From website: This section of the symposium brings together a selection of speakers who consider how we as humans relate to the land, to non-human animals, and to consumption – and how all of these things have been shaped by legacies of slavery. Spaces in the city are scrutinised for the traces they hold of these legacies, from the government archives to the Company’s Gardens; a cooking demonstration is streamed live from a home in the Bo-Kaap and powerfully conveys the role of food in heritage, care-giving and community-building; whilst contemporary businesses such as wine farms are revealed as places in which these legacies are still prevalent.

To watch my discussion video, please see here.

To read my poem, Swallowed by Sea, composed for the Uncovered Symposium, please see here.

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