The film is filmed in Cape Town. It provides a textured and nuanced account of knowledge politics in a postcolonial city, which we have found translates well to many other places. It opens up important questions about nature, urbanization, class, race and the living remains of colonialism.
The film deliberately does not tell an easy story, because that is now how things are. Instead we trust the audience to engage and make up their minds and feelings, reading it in diverse ways to engage with one another. Many students have found it intriguing and engaging.
- Powerpoint presentation on the film by Ernstson and von Heland
- Questions for students following a screening, by Paul Munro
- Questions for students following a screening by Jim Igoe (to be added)
On flat ontologies, postcolonial moments and partitioning the sensible
- Bruno Latour – Reassembling the Social (2005) and Science in Action (1988)
- Verran Helen 2002. A Postcolonial Moment in Science Studies: Alternative Firing Regimes of Environmental Scientists and Aboriginal Landowners, in Social Studies of Science, vol. 32(5-6).
- Rancière J. 2001. Ten Thesis on Politics. In: Theory & Event. Vol. 5, No. 3, 2001.
On reappropriation, revitalism and the “genius of pagan“
- Mudimbe. V.Y. 1988. The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge. Indiana University Press.
- Garuba H. 2012. On Animism, Modernity/ Colonialism, and the African Order of Knowledge: Provisional Reflections. e-flux Journal, vol 36.
On Cape Flats and The Princess Vlei struggle
- Ernstson H. “Staging Difference at Princess Vlei“, blog post from 27 September 2013.
- The Princess Vlei Forum website, and the legend of Princes Vlei.
- Ernstson, Henrik. 2014. “Situating Ecologies and Re-Distributing Expertise: The Material Semiotics of People and Plants at Bottom Road, Cape Town.” In Symposium on the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design & Planning at the University of Washington, 6 May, 1–20. Seattle, WA: University of Washington.
- Anderson E., G. Avlonitis and H. Ernstson. 2014. “Ecological outcomes of civic and expert-led urban greening projects using indigenous plant species in Cape Town, South Africa“. Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 127.
On post-apartheid politics and decolonization
- Comaroff J. and Comaroff J. 2001. “Naturing the Nation: Aliens, Apocalypse and the Postcolonial State“. Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 27 (3).
- Mbembe, A. 2015. Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive. Public lecture, Johannesburg, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER).
Colonial history, botanical history
- Anker P. 2002. Imperial Ecology – Environmental Order in the British Empire, 1895-1945. Harvard University Press.
- Stoler A. L. 2016. Duress – Imperial Durabilities in Our Times. Durham University Press.
Film theory and postcolonial thinking
- Trinh M-H and Chen N. C. 1992. Speaking Nearby. Visual Anthropology. Review, vol 8 (1).
- Berthe J. 2018. “Beyond the entomological critique: re-thinking Rouch and African cinema“. Studies in French Cinema, Vol. 18 (3).