The impetus for this book was the more than 60 stories that were documented in Bonteheuwel, Langa and Worcester as part of the ‘Trauma, Memory, and Representations of the Past’ research project that examined, through interviews, the immediate and intergenerational repercussions of historical trauma and traumatic memory in the context of post-apartheid South Africa. We therefore start by acknowledging the willingness of individuals in Langa, Bonteheuwel and Worcester who shared their stories with our researchers even when this implied imparting difficult and painful memories with strangers.
We are especially pleased to acknowledge financial assistance in the form of a grant awarded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to Stellenbosch University to conduct the research on which the stories in this book are based. We are grateful to the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) for an earlier grant for research that was a catalyst for this project and for the support of the production of this book. We also wish to express our gratitude to the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns for the funding that made it possible to translate the stories from isiXhosa and English to Afrikaans. Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University in collaboration with the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) provided institutional support for developing the research plan and implementation of the research strategy. We are most grateful to the IJR for responding to our call for help and joining Stellenbosch University in coordinating all aspects of the work on this book. The final report of the research project on which these stories are based will be published after the completion of the analysis of individual interviews and data collected from focus group discussions. It is our pleasure to work with Kim Wale and Kate Lefko-Everett on this process.
Many people have graciously contributed time and effort in different forms to help make this publication a reality.
The recording of the stories in this book would not have been possible without the assistance of the following people who worked with us on the individual interviews and focus group discussions: Bea Abrahams, Charity Asantewa, Nadine Cloete, Pam Tsolekile de Wet, Eleanor du Plooy, Kate Lefko-Everett, Lisa Marqua-Harries, Refiloe Hhohlomini, Mandisa Malinga, Vusi Mandindi, Jodi Metcalfe, Megan Robertson. Mark Kaplan assisted with the visual representation of the research process and captured the stories of some of the research participants on film. Sarah van der Walt provided invaluable research and administrative support at the start of and during the research project. Jolene Pietersen provided much-needed administrative support for this project. We are grateful to everyone in the research team for investing significant physical and emotional energy in documenting the experiences of the people we interviewed for the project.
Navigating communities, in which one is not at home, requires trusted friends and allies. Bonteheuwel resident and Bonte-Langa Project member Shahied Africa played an important role in helping the research team access individuals in Bonteheuwel who were willing to share their stories with us. In Langa, Vusi Mandindi volunteered valuable insights and assistance with the research project. Harris Sibeko and the Worcester Hope and Reconciliation Process played an important role in helping to make the research project a reality in Worcester. Eleanor Du Plooy, Kenneth Lukuko and Cecyl Esau at the IJR provided much-needed insights and support throughout the project.
Roelof van Wyk’s belief in the power of photography to provide nuance to a story motivated the entire editorial team. Roelof assisted us in identifying emerging photographers Noncedo Gxekwa and Botswele Mogotlane who worked with passion, enthusiasm and patience to conceptualise a creative photographic document of each storyteller. Graphic designer Doret Ferreira was responsible for visualising the manuscript with a great deal of respect and sensitivity to the storytellers and their stories. That the stories in this book appear in Xhosa, English and Afrikaans adds important value to the way in which this book speaks of, and to, the South African story. We thank the translators for their precise and thoughtful work. Carol Broomhall at Jacana Media supported the publication of the book without hesitation. We are thankful for her support and professional assistance.