In this Issue #5: The Cost of Freedom


In November 2018 CAL launched the very first issue of the African Feminist Standpoint. Aptly  called issue #0 - we published content that was produced during CALs’ 10th anniversary in 2015 - content that looked back at where CAL had come from, the politics that had driven her and the politics she hoped would carry her into the future. This issue grounded what we hoped the AFS would become, a space for feminist exploration, reflection and analysis. Over the last four years we have worked with very many wonderful feminist activists and thought leaders to explore themes and issues that are important to us and the movements we create. 

This issue is no different - 

And yet quite different. 

No issue is ever necessarily plain sailing 🙂 and no issue has turned out quite the way we planned. And we are quite well versed in the ebb and flow of synchronizing ideas, ideals and deadlines. This issue, though, did challenge this ease we thought we had mastered. There was definitely more ebb than flow and a lot more tension than ease - at least until the very end when everything seemed to come together quite quickly and seamlessly.

In hindsight this makes a lot of sense. I think it’s safe to say that we at CAL, and the African Feminist Standpoint are much more comfortable in conversations around bodily autonomy, sexuality and violence. CAL was very much borne out of a body and sexuality politic - necessarily and understandably so. And much like the reflections you will find in issue #0, we are constantly revising and critiquing our politics and ways of working so we can adequately respond to changing contexts and fully participate in expanding dreams of feminist futures. So it becomes an important exercise to stand in some discomfort as we expand our analyses. 

And that is exactly what we did with this Issue #5: the cost of freedom - a space where we explored economic justice with wonderful contributors. 

Tash talks about funding for women’s rights and asks how the funding relationship between the donor and the organisation replicates the very structures of oppression that we hope our work will dismantle - does the relationship even promote a dismantling of anything or are our efforts being intentionally thwarted?

In Out with the stock exchange, in with the stokvels sustaining society, Nozizwe adds an air of nostalgia as she takes us back to Sunday stokvels and “communal practices rooted in ubuntu and the importance of solidarity and community” 

In a quirky, fun and very to the point opinion piece, Jen takes us through feminist alternatives to mainstream economics and community building. Jen points out the individualistic, extractive and white-supermacist notions of economic prosperity and points us in a direction that is not the opposite of white domination [ie. just adding a Black, Queer Woman's face to a broken system], but rather a dismantling and reimagining of the point and practice of economics all together. 

We have submissions that cover love and money, a queer perspective on economic justice, feminist economics and COVID-19. What we love most about this issue is how far and wide our contributors have stretched our understanding of a theme that can seem quite technical and scary at first. But feminists know things - lots of things, and we are so happy they choose the AFS as a space to share and collaborate 🙂


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