Pier Paolo Frassinelli

The New South Africa and the Aliens

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: identity, nation, xenophobia, citizenship, football world cup.

This essay explores issues related to the construction of identity, nationalism, xenophobia and citizenship in contemporary South Africa by offering a comparative analysis of Phaswane Mpe's novel Welcome to Our Hillbrow (2001) and Neill Blomkamp's film District 9 (2009). These are in many ways anomalous specimens of post-apartheid cultural production since, rather than dwelling on the multiple ways of being and modes of identity-making that constitute the "new" South Africa, they invite us to rethink the notion of national community from the standpoint of the limits and exclusions that this formation produces. Both Welcome to Our Hillbrow and District 9 thus invite us to interrogate questions that have to do with the possibility of imagining and creating postnational and postidentitarian forms of subjectivity and community.

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