Associate Professor of Geography
Tuesday, September 25, 12-1:30pm
Part of the Global Urban Humanities Colloquium The City and Its People, Rhetoric 198-3 / ARCH 198-2, Rhetoric 244A / ARCH 298-2
While it is a truism that South Africa's apartheid past has not been entirely transcended, we know less about how inhabitants of today's racial capitalism encounter remains of the past as limits to actual social and spatial change. Sharad Chari's talk draws on about 15 years of historical and ethnographic research on southern reaches of the Indian Ocean city of Durban, and particularly on two neighborhoods, 'Indian' Merebank and 'Coloured' Wentworth, both nestled in a patchwork of industry and residence in a valley that traps industrial pollution and foists its burdens on racialized populations. After outlining the layers of the racial palimpsest that is South Durban, Chari turns to the ways in which its denizens have tried in very different ways to contest this unjust urban geography, and what these struggles tell us about ongoing struggles for a city beyond racial capitalism.
Sharad Chari is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at UC Berkeley, and Research Associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER) at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Sharad is a scholar of class/caste/gender, agrarian transition and industrialization in South India (Fraternal Capital, 2004) and has been working on South Africa since 2002. This talk is from his current book manuscript, Apartheid Remains. His new work is on an oceanic conception of racial/sexual capitalism, in relation to the fetishism of 'the Ocean Economy' in the Southern African Indian Ocean region. At Berkeley Geography, he is also part of Berkeley Black Geographies and the Submergent Archive, and at WiSER, he is part of the project on the Oceanic Humanities in the Global South.