238pp., illus., maps, paperback, Johannesburg, 2019
A collection of 13 interviews with migrants and long-term residents in Johannesburg.
"Like all excellent ideas the one that animates this book is both disarmingly simple and powerfully original. So much has been written on xenophobia in South Africa, and yet so few have listened with care and precision to the voices of the ordinary people at the coalface. This book unsettles so many old assumptions, like who is host and who visitor, who belongs and what indeed it might mean to belong at all. It does this simply by creating a space in which people bare witness to their lives." Jonny Steinberg, author of A Man of Good Hope
"These are raw, honest personal stories — some heart-breaking, some up-lifting. Beautifully told, each story is a study of journey-making. No matter where we may have been born, each of us seeks a place where we will be safe and respected for who we are. The stories in this collection illustrate that no journey is easy – each act of leaving and each attempt to begin again is tough. At their core however, these stories grapple with the making of a nation. Taken together, these narratives illustrate the quest for dignity and so they tell the story of humanity and striving, and ambition in the midst of profound difficulty. This book speaks to South African and African concerns but at its heart, it documents a set of global phenomena that are important to anyone who cares about the state of the world today." Sisonke Msimang, author of Always Another Country
Loren Landau is Research Professor at the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand
Tanya Pampalone is Managing Editor of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and former Executive Editor of the Mail & Guardian.