On decolonisation and revolution: a Kristevan reading of the hashtags student movements and Fallism

SOURCE: Politikon
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Steyn Kotze
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10159
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/11465
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/11465

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In 2015, clarion calls for a radical change in South African universities sounded. Protesting students demanded a transformed cultural and physical spatiality of South African universities. Their narrative emphasised colonial structures personified in the symbolism of statutes like Cecil John Rhodes, and is driven ideologically by an 'apartheid culture' that does not advance an African philosophical and intellectual project but continues to oppress them. They frame their struggle as Fallism [Fallism was coined as a term to describe the ideological drive of disruption, and seeing the fall of something in mobilizing around the symbolism of oppression and struggle, most notably challenges continued discrimination and exclusion on the basis of race, class, sex and the exclusionary nature of capitalism and the commodification of higher education [wa Bofelo, M. 2017. 'Fallism and the Dialectics of spontaneity and organisation'. Accessed November 17, 2017. https://www.joburgpost.co.za/ 2017/08/04/fallism-dialectics-spontaneity-organisation-disrupting-tradition-reconstruct-tradit ion/]. It is an ideological vehicle advancing a cultural revolution, not just for free education, but for what they have termed the decolonization of spaces of higher learning and, more fundamentally, the decolonization of the mind.]. Their imaginary highlights a contested and militant debate on the spatiality of transformation, underpinned by a notion of abjection. This article explores the notion of revolt embodied in Fallism through a Kristevan lens. The author argues that at the core of the students' revolt is a sense of abjection fuelling the Fallist struggle for the complete structural decolonisation of universities.