Article from ROAPE Volume 35 Number 116
Rejoinder: Collab/Co-opt/Contest in Praxis-based Knowledge
In her brave autocritique of how formal academics operate in South Africa's low-income activist settings, Shannon Walsh hopes that ‘uncomfortable collaborations can burst open geographic and identity-based alliances, de-territorialising groupings around commonalities of desire, struggle and event.’ Walsh's points are valid. Yet I think context is missing and needed. We are, after all, only in the initial stage of reviving these collaborations in the face of 1990s co-optations and subsequent contestations of ‘knowledge production’ between proponents of the government-allied centre-left and the independent left-left. Until these are clarified we can consider the search for genuine accountability of researchers to their subjects, and the search for more honest representations of local politics.