Chloé Samala Faux

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Columbia U.

Grant number

Gr. 9896

Approve Date

October 25, 2019

Project Title

Faux, Chloé (Columbia U.) "Valuations of black life in death: risking an ethics of care in South Africa"

This project attends to South Africa’s multiple “archival forms” (Stoler 2009)––that is, the written, the oral, the official, the unofficial, and the ancestral, to historicize acts of care, as they relate to the way Black women negotiate their reproductive lives. Through the figure of the sangoma (traditional healer and technician of the ancestral) my research examine the ancestral realm as a site of speculation that engenders modes collective existence, inextricable from a history of dislocation and an uncertain future. What vocabularies and epistemologies of life, death and care does the ancestral realm offer? I aim to grasp “historical experiences that ‘fall away.” While Black womens’ reproduction is a locus of investment in contemporary South Africa’s narratives of liberalization and liberation after apartheid, Black womens’ experiences lay beyond these narratives’ scope of explanatio((Tadiar 2009, Tsing 2005). How do Black womens’ interfacing with parallel abortion economies undermine, bolster, or reconfigure the conception of risk the South African government seeks to mitigate through its liberalization of abortion? Through ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Johannesburg and Pretoria I will examine the likely-competing, but perhaps also complementary, actuarial, public health/policy, and religio-spiritual registers, through which the practice of abortion is understood.