Category Archives: London School of Economics & Political Science

On predictability. The everyday struggles of shack dwellers in South Africa

Last week, the award-winning film, Dear Mandela, by Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza, was screened at the London School of Economics and Political Science. After the screening, there was a question and answer session with one of the founding members of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a social movement for shack dwellers in South Africa, who were the focus of the film. Here, one of the audience members writes about the film, the ensuing discussion, and the wider struggles of people who live within informal settlements in South Africa.

 ‘There is no more room for numbers on my door’, observed a teenager in one of Durban’s informal settlements. Whilst pundits engaged in speculation over the results of local elections, in 2011, shack dwellers could easily predict the nature of the election campaign: candidates would attempt to buy their votes with a spray can.

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