Panel Mania: Crossroads: I Live Where I Like: A Graphic History By Koni Benson, A.Trantraal, N.Trantraal, and A.E.Marais
By Calvin Reed
November 18th, 2020
Based on South African historian Koni Benson’s PhD thesis, Crossroads: I Live Where I Like is a thoroughly researched, stylishly illustrated graphic history focused on the struggles of a group of courageous South African women who fought the apartheid government’s destruction of informal settlements such as Crossroads, a section of Cape Town, during the 1970s. Benson teamed with the cartooning brothers André Trantaal and Nathan Trantaal, and designer Ashley E. Marais, to create the work, which also includes a foreword by UCLA historian Robin D.G. Kelley. Benson interviewed more than 60 people who were part of the Crossroads resistance and the book profiles key personalities as well as the ongoing challenges presented by South Africa’s violent racist, colonial and apartheid past. This 8-page excerpt opens in 1978 after the Crossroads settlement has been brutally raided by the police. Undaunted, the women of Crossroads come together and stage a play called Infuduso (which means exodus in the isiXhosa language) that featured actual Crossroads residents onstage telling the story of their fight for housing and the fight against the racist policies of the South African government. Crossroads: I Live Where I Like: A Graphic History by Koni Benson, André Trantaal, Nathan Trantaal, and Ashley E. Marais, will be published by PM Press in February 2021.