Grandmothers of the sea: Stories and lessons from five Xhosa ocean elders

By Buhle Francis & Dylan McGarry

Hydrofeminist Thinking with Oceans brings together authors who are thinking in, with and through the spaces of ocean/s and beaches in South African contexts to make alternative knowledges towards a justice-to-come and flourishing at a planetary level. Primary scholarly locations for this work include feminist new materialist and post-humanist thinking, and specifically locates itself within hydrofeminist thinking.

Together with a foreword by Astrida Neimanis, the chapters in this book explore both land and water with oceans as powerfully political spaces, globally and locally entangled in the violences of settler colonialism, land dispossession, slavery, transnational labour exploitation, extractivism and omnicides. South Africa is a productive space to engage in such scholarship. While there is a growing body of literature that works within and across disciplines on the sea and bodies of water to think critically about the damages of centuries of colonisation and continued extractivist capitalism, there remains little work that explores this burgeoning thinking in global Southern, and more particularly South African contexts. South African histories of colonisation, slavery and more recently apartheid, which are saturated in the oceans, are only recently being explored through oceanic logics. ….”

Main artwork: Margherita Brunori