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Artwork by Lex Trickett

Lindokuhle Nkosi // ColabNowNow storyteller

ColabNowNow resident Lindokuhle Nkosi shared with me how she views herself as a storyteller. She explained that there isn’t a specific point at which she decided to become a writer and to grow her relationship with writing. She adds that her writing has matured by being more honest and playful, and knowing that she has always been writing outwards regardless of that the fact that she wasn’t sure who was reading her work.

“I’ve found that the things I’m writing of late are personal missives. To myself. To the people I love past, present and future,” Lindokuhle explains. For her writing has also become a container of memories, a way for her to remember all that she never wants to allow herself forget. She also sees her work as map-making and piecing fragments together; she is no longer interested in being coherent or right. “I’m more willing to be understood. I don’t know if that’s growth or petulance but I know it sits better between skin and spirit,” she adds.

Lindokuhle is also excited about the idea of a re-imagined future, or what she clarifies further as “futurelessness”. “Time is a strange thing for me, even this idea of the future as this fixed point in time that we can arrive at and be, and become is weird to me,” she explains. Continuing from this she highlights how she has been thinking about loopholes and wormholes this year and what these mean for thinking about ideas around chronology. This ties into her MA in Creative Writing that she is working on at the moment, where she explores intergenerational trauma – the idea that pain gets passed on genetically. It’s a creative thesis, a fictionalized body of work that looks how violence folds into the body. She asks the question, “If I can accept this idea, the idea that my grandmothers experiences live in my body and affect who and how I am in the present…then what is the purpose of time? What promise does the future hold and who dictates it?”

“I have a feeling that what white sci-fi has always described as dystopia is actually a shrinking of their privilege and a destruction of white supremacy. All the things we’re seeing now; increases militarization, the re-emergence of the Neo-Nazi, climate change – this is the world systems caving in on themselves, this is them working. This is what they’re designed to do. So things like shutdowns, like resistance and protest, the ability to arrest the future and bring it to a standstill, that’s what excites me. I don’t know that I’m the architect of any kind of future. All I have is a knowledge of how things are, the system that maintains it and allows it to exist; and an imagination. The ability to create new weapons, weapons that can not only resist but create.”

Through all of this, Lindokuhle realizes the weight that words can hold, and that her primary economy is language. ” I hope to break things, to unburden meanings, to fuck around. To open spaces in the meanings, spaces in which we can inject ourselves so that sentences are not prison terms of definitions.”

As part of the ColabNowNow residency, she is open to the ideas that will come to be through interacting with people from Southern Africa, East Africa, West Africa and the UK.

The final outcomes of their individual and collective ideas that have been fermenting throughout the residency will be presented at the Fak’ugesi Bloc Party on the 16th of September.

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