• Power battles on South African trophy hunting farms: farm workers, resistance and mobility in the Karoo

    By Femke Brandt

    South Africa’s countryside is transforming through rapid and widespread farm conversions from agricultural land to wildlife enclosures. This paper, published in 2016, interprets trophy hunting as a reconfiguration process in which land, power and belonging are contested through relations between farmers, workers, the state and animals. The argument is based on ethnographic material generated in the Eastern Cape Karoo through engagements with farm workers and commercial – mostly English-speaking white farmers – who have established and gradually expanded their trophy-hunting farms catering for a predominantly foreign-affluent clientele. James Scott’s concept of a nonstate space is employed to show how the geographical and performative features of the hunting farm, and the hunting game itself, enables game farmers to assert their authority on the land. However, these attempts are constantly frustrated by ‘unruly’ and mobile humans and animals who resist and subvert these imagined ideals and real practices on the farms.

  • Shrinking or Shifting? – the closing of civil society space in five countries in Southern Africa

    By Ronald Wesso

    The paper Shrinking or shifting gives an overview of the research process and findings of an investigation in 2017 into the shrinkage of space for civil society organisations (CSOs) in five countries in Southern Africa, namely Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The study was commissioned by Africa Groups of Sweden (AGS), a Swedish CSO focusing on mobilising solidarity and support in Sweden for CSOs and popular movements in Southern Africa. The work of AGS and its partners has therefore provided the framework for the study. It was completed in December 2017.