Virtual Book Launch: Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers: Negotiating Meaning and Making Life in Bloemfontein, South Africa

Virtual Book Launch: Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers: Negotiating Meaning and Making Life in Bloemfontein, South Africa

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 - Thu, 10 Jun 2021


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Organized by: HSRC Press


You are cordially invited to our book launch:

Book: Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers: Negotiating Meaning and Making Life in Bloemfontein, South Africa
Editors/Authors: Jonatan Kurzwelly and Luis Escobedo
Publishers: HSRC Press
Publication Year: 2021

When: 10 June 2021, at 19.00 (UCT+2)

Where: On Zoom. Register HERE

Book Description:
Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers develops an argument about how individual migrants, coming from four continents and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, are in many ways affected by a violent categorisation that is often nihilistic, insistently racial, and continuously significant in the organisation of South African society. The book also examines how relative privilege and storytelling function as instruments for migrants to negotiate meanings and shape their lives. It employs narrative life-story research as its guiding methodology and applies various disciplinary analytical perspectives, with an overall focus on social categorisation and its consequences. The featured stories stress how unsettled, mutable and in flux social categories and identities are – just as a messy pencil sketch challenges clear definitions.

Leslie Bank, Deputy Executive Director of the Economic Development and Performance Unit at the HSRC. Adjunct Professor at Walter Sisulu University and University of Fort Hare. Author of Migrant Labour after Apartheid: The inside story (edited with Dorrit Posel and Francis Wilson, 2020), COVID and Custom in Rural South Africa: Culture, healthcare and the state (with Nelly Sharpley, 2021), Home Spaces, Street Styles: Contesting power and identity in a South African city (2011) and other books.


Oswald Kucherera, Cape Town-based storyteller, human rights activist and educator. Author of The Exodus Down South (2016) and Washing Dishes and Other Stories (2018).

Angelo Martins Junior, Research Associate at the University of Bristol's School of Sociology, Politics & International Studies (SPAIS) and coordinator of the Research Challenge ‘Control, Conflict, Resistance’ at the Migration Mobilities Bristol Research Institute (MMB). Author of Lives in Motion: Notebooks of an Immigrant in London (2015) and Moving Difference: Brazilians in London (2020).

Faith Mkwesha, Researcher and Visiting Scholar at the Swedish School of Social Science Subunit, University of Helsinki. Chief Executive Director and Founder of Sahwira Africa, an anti-racist organisation. Author of Rasismi, valta ja vastarinta: Rodullistaminen, valkoisuus ja koloniaalisuus Suomessa (Racism, power and resistance: Racialization, whiteness and coloniality in Finland, edited with Suvi Keskinen and Minna Kristiina Seikkula, 2021) and Zimbabwe Women Writers from 1950 to the Present: re-creating gender images (Ph.D. Thesis, 2016).

Alice Ncube, Senior Lecturer at the Natural and Agricultural Sciences; and Senior Lecturer and Programme Director at the Disaster Management Training and Education Centre, University of the Free State. Author of The socio-economic coping and adaptation mechanisms employed by African migrant women in South Africa (Ph.D. Thesis, 2017).

In conversation with the editors of Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers - Jonatan Kurzwelly (University of Göttingen and University of the Free State) and Luis Escobedo (University of the Free State) - and other book contributors.