No Land! No House! No Vote! Voices from Symphony Way
Voices from Symphony Way
Publisher: Pambazuka Press, South Africa
Year Published: 2011
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX12804
Accounts from Symphony Way pavement dwellers, joined together in an anti-eviction campaign, living in shacks insisting that the government provide permanent housing.
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.