This essay focuses on South African artist Sharlene Khan's 2016 multimedia project When the Moon Waxes Red in order to examine political culture in postapartheid South Africa. At the heart of Khan's project is the Indian indentureship experience. The author argues that the return to the indentureship experience in cultural production disrupts the linear progressive narrative of the postapartheid nation by revealing how the traumas of the past resonate in the present. Furthermore Khan's project opens up questions around racial formations, memory, history, and national identity in the postapartheid period. Through an analysis of her aesthetic practice, this essay examines the way the artist forges a transnational Afro-Asian feminist framework that links Africa, Asia, and the Americas by emphasizing the various forms of violence—state, domestic, sexual, racial, colonial, apartheid, imperial, neoliberal—that connect black and brown lives both in the global South and global North.
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Jordache A. Ellapen; When the Moon Waxes Red: Afro-Asian Feminist Intimacies and the Aesthetics of Indenture. Small Axe 1 July 2017; 21 (2 (53)): 94–111. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-4156810
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