Koni Benson

Koni Benson is an historian, organizer, and educator. She is a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Since 2006 she has been coproducing life histories of self-organization and unfolding political struggles of collective resistance for access to land and public services in South Africa. She is committed to creative approaches to history that link art, activism, and African history, and draws on critical approaches to people’s history projects, popular education, and feminist collaborative research praxis, in her work with various social movement archives, and student, activist, and cultural collectives in southern Africa.




Crossroads: I Live Where I Like- A Graphic History

Crossroads: I Live Where I Like: A Graphic History

SKU: 9781629638355
Author: Koni Benson • Illustrators: André Trantraal, Nathan Trantraal, and Ashley E. Marais • Foreword by Robin D.G. Kelley
Series: PM Press/Kairos
ISBN: 978-1-62963-835-5
Published: 01/2021
Format: Paperback
Size: 7×10
Pages: 192
Subjects: Comics / History-Africa



Praise

Crossroads is, quite simply, beautiful. It is intellectual and appealing and everything one could hope for from this kind of project. It is a meaningful engagement with a deeply troubling and enormously significant past. Not only does it weave text and images together to their best effect, but this is also one of the most insightful studies of urban history and social movements in any medium.”
—Trevor Getz, professor of African history, San Francisco State University; author of Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History; and series editor of the Oxford University Press’s Uncovering History series

“Through the narratives of women’s struggles told in an honest and compelling way, Crossroads is an essential activist’s handbook. It is a long-awaited and important compilation that is fundamental in understanding how women rose up against oppression and dispossession.”
—Nomusa Makhubu, winner of the ABSA L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award and the Prix du Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Le Fresnoy

“Koni Benson and her colleagues have produced an excellent and colourful history of the people of Crossroads. Based on original scholarly research, the comic books bring to life the tribulations and resistance of poor black people, especially women, in the face of constant state violence. Their determination to organise and to struggle for the right to a decent life in Cape Town, whose authorities were determined to exclude them from the city, hold crucial lessons for contemporary movements of the poor and marginalised. The Crossroads comics are a fine example of popular history and should be compulsory reading in our schools and communities.”
—Noor Nieftagodien, author of The Soweto Uprising and Alexandra: A History

“Nuanced in its story-telling, Crossroads draws on the best that graphic traditions have to offer: iconic imagery, bold and effective compositional frames, thick colour patches that recall the vivid life that survived the bleak years of apartheid, and wonderful characters, who speak from but also beyond their specific historical and geographical locations. Crossroads is thus both African and not, speaking as all good books do, to a variety of human situations, across our planet. A book that crosses genres, it is at once memory, history and a feminist fable. Suitable for all that can read and hold ideas in their heads, and who love a good tale.”
—V. Geetha, feminist historian and editorial director of Tara Books, India

“I am aware of this work because of its international circulation and reputation for advancing quality scholarship in original forms and formats. I cannot speak too highly of this series, which dramatizes African women’s collective resistance to political oppression in a historically grounded yet accessible medium—what we have come to call the graphic history.”
—Antoinette Burton, author of The Trouble with Empire


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