Impossible Mourning

HIV / AIDS and Visuality after Apartheid
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Dimensions and Pages: 210 x 140 mm, 156 pp
  • Paperback EAN: 978 1 86814 773 1
  • Rights: Africa
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): n/a

Impossible Mourning argues that while the HIV/AIDS epidemic has occupied an important place in public discourse in South Africa over the last ten years, particularly in debates about governance and constitutional rights post-apartheid, the experiences of people living with HIV for the most part remain invisible and the multiple losses due to AIDS have gone publicly unmourned. This profound fact is at the centre of this book which explores the signifi cance of the disavowal of AIDS-death in relation to violence, death, and mourning under apartheid. Impossible Mourning shows how, in spite of the magnitude of the epidemic, and as a result of the stigma and discrimination that have largely characterized both national and personal responses to the epidemic, spaces for the expression of collective mourning have been few.

This book engages with multiple forms of visual representation that work variously to compound, undo, and complicate the politics of loss. Drawing on work the author did in art and narrative support groups while working with people living with HIV/AIDS in Khayelitsha outside Cape

Introduction A Language for Mourning
Chapter 1. Speaking Bodies
Chapter 2. Passing and the Politics of Queer Loss Post-apartheid
Chapter 3. Traumatic Witnessing: Photography and Disappearance
Chapter 4. Mourning the Present
Chapter 5. Disavowed Loss during Apartheid and After in the Time of AIDS
Chapter 6. Refusing Transcendence: The Deaths of Biko and the Archives of Apartheid
(Without) Conclusion “The Crisis is Not Over”

Kylie Thomas is a lecturer in the English Department at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

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