'A beauty, extraordinary in every
Naomi Klein, author of 'The Shock Doctrine' and 'No Logo'.
About This project:
The aim of this project is to bring three authors of the acclaimed book No Land! No House!
No Vote! Voices from Symphony Way on a tour of the USA and the UK.
A group of families who have called themselves the Symphony Way Pavement Dwellers are demanding that their voices are heard and they need your help to bring them to your city:
In 2007, in South Africa, hundreds of families living in shacks in the township of Delft in Cape Town were moved into houses they had been promised at the end of apartheid. But soon they were told that the move had been illegal and they were kicked out of their new homes. They built shacks next to the road opposite the housing project and organized themselves into the Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign, refusing to move into a crime-ridden Temporary Relocation Area called Blikkiesdorp and vowing to stay on the road until the government gave them permanent housing.
Written toward the end of the struggle on the pavements, this anthology is both testimony and poetry. There are stories of justice miscarried, of violence, of bigotry and xenophobia. But amid the horror there is beauty, and a bundle of relationships between aunties, husbands, wives and children, of daughters named Hope and Symphony. This book is a means to dignity, a way for the poor to reflect and be reflected. It is testimony that there is thinking in the shacks, that there are complex humans who dialogue, theorise and fight to bring about change. This book is an expression of that fight.
Voices from Symphony Way is a unique book from a unique struggle. With a Foreword written by award winning writer and activist Raj Patel, it seeks to place itself in the center of the global struggle for land and hosing for the poor.
Why is a book tour important?
The release of No Land! No House! No Vote! By the Symphony Way Pavement Dwellers has generated huge interest in South Africa and across the globe. Organizations and universities from all over want to hear the authors speak about their struggle. A tour in the US would help spread the word about the struggle for land, housing and dignity in South Africa.
A number of US media outlets have expressed significant interest in interviewing the authors if we are able to put together the tour. These include Democracy Now!, AllAfrica.com, the Nation, NPR, The Real News, WBAI, Pacifica Radio, and Left Turn Magazine. There is also interest for them to speak at events at the University of Chicago, at the University of North Carolina, Duke, MIT, Harvard, University of Milwaukee-Wisconson, Busboys and Poets, University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, Carlton University, and more.
This would generate significant interest and support for the struggles of South African shack-dwellers.
It is also important because it will show
another side of the struggle: the struggle against the mainstream media and
publishing industry that seeks to silence (or mediate) the voices of the poor
throughout the world. This book tour would be an important way of challenging the
status quo of who deserves the media spotlight.
In order to bring three authors, we will need to raise $6,830 dollars for passports, visas and airfare from South Africa.
The rest of the costs (accommodation, internal US/UK travel, and food) will be covered by the organizations, Universities, and bookstores that are bringing the authors to speak.
Here are some details on the costs (airfare cost is an estimate):
3x tickets to New York with Layover in London: $5,400.00
3x passports for authors: $174
3x visas for authors (UK): $390
3x visas for authors (US): $420
(plus Indiegogo 7% admin fee)
Total cost: $6830.00
Note: Every effort will be made to raise the funds necessary. If all funds are not raised, alternative rewards may be provided.
Acclaim and reviews:
The book is published by Pambazuka Press, the progressive pan-African publisher. Through the voices of the peoples of Africa and the global South, Pambazuka disseminates analysis and debate on the struggle for freedom and justice.For a list of reviews of the book, click here.
"A beauty, extraordinary in every way."
Naomi Klein, author of 'The Shock Doctrine' and 'No Logo'
"The photographs are brilliant and the stories a concrete and visceral expression of solidarity and humanity."
Nigel Gibson, Emerson College,
Boston; Editor, author of Fanonian Practices: From Biko to Abahlali
"The book is a compelling testimony to the ingenuity of the people to organise themselves and invent ever-newer forms of struggle. "
Issa Shivji, Mwalimu Nyerere Professor of Pan African Studies, University of Dar es Salaam
"I put the telephone off and went to the local park to read the manuscript this afternoon. It was an extraordinary experience. This book really does capture something of the texture of an actually existing popular struggle."
Richard Pithouse, Department of Politics and International Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa
"There are moments of excitement when one recognises transformational action is already ongoing and moments of recognition that new ways of knowing are being produced. This is one of those moments."
Sokari Ekine, author and award-winning blogger
This book carries not only the suffering of the Symphony Way communities but of the millions of poor people of the world."
S'bu Zikode, a leader of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement, South Africa
No Land, No House, No Vote is a clarion call for basic of human rights and for human dignity. A powerful insider's view into the landscape of poverty in neoliberal South Africa.
Professor Michael Watts, Class of 63 Professor of Geography and Development Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, author of Curse of the Black Gold.
This is a story of horror conjugated with hope, compellingly told with a brutal directness and an eloquence that often springs up from the abysms of despair.
Professor Peter McLaren, University of California, Los Angeles, author of Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution
This book unmediated, raw, written in the voices of ordinary, marginal people rebuilding communities and reclaiming democracy in small ways points to the hard, cold struggle South Africans still face to achieve full citizenship in their own country.
Sean Jacobs, born on the Cape Flats, teaches international affairs at The New School in Manhattan
As middle-class African journalists and activists we thought we were telling their tale of the poorest, but here we are surpassed. Their truths, spoken with their hearts on their sleeves and in their sharp vernacular tongue, fly straight to the heart of the matter."
Michael Schmidt, journalist and co-author of Black Flame: the Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism
Other Ways You Can Help
- Tell all your friends, and spread the word about the campaign on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.
- If you are a student, go to your African Studies or another department at your university and ask them to host and sponsor the Symphony Way authors.
- Please follow the Anti-Eviction Campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
- Please follow Pambazuka on Facebook and Twitter.
- Follow the success of the Symphony Way Tour campaign on Twitter at #symphonytour.