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2022 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

7. The Commons in African Spatial Production: A Critical Review of Geographies of Power

Author: Gert van der Merwe

Published in: Design Commons

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

This chapter situates the South African policy discourse within global theoretical concerns regarding Surveillance Capitalism (Zuboff. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. New York: PublicAffairs, Perseus Book, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, 2019) and contemporary manifestations of neo-liberalism. It posits that the commons be understood as part of indigenous systems of spatial production, viewed as an ongoing and relational process in a geography of external power dynamics, and that power/capital will seek divisive tactics that obscure its operations. Analyzing South African precedents it recommends working from a place of knowledge, inclusionary practices and the relationship between bottom-up organization, while critically testing these operations against the Weberian state. It calls for deep solidarity and practices that go beyond charity or a welfare-based approach in a “politics of compassion” which evoke the literal meaning of the word to suffer with. It casts suspicion on practices of representation and the consolidation of heterogeneous spatial rights and practices, and advocates for openness.
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Metadata
Title
The Commons in African Spatial Production: A Critical Review of Geographies of Power
Author
Gert van der Merwe
Copyright Year
2022
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-95057-6_7