Postcolonial Anarchographics: Re-drawing History in the Trantraal Brothers’ Crossroads


Focusing on visual and textual representations of squatting and women’s resistances against apartheid in the comic book series Crossroads (2014-2016), this article examines how graphic history may enable a more nuanced understanding of anarchic resistances in the postcolonial context. A six-part comic series created by historian Koni Benson in collaboration with political cartoonists the Trantraal Brothers (André and Nathan) and Ashley Marais, and published by Cape Town’s Isotrope Comics, Crossroads tells the story of women’s organized resistance to the apartheid state in the Crossroads township on the outskirts of Cape Town. Based on oral testimony from more than sixty women, Crossroads incorporates original archival press clippings, posters, photography, documentary clips, and drawings to illustrate how “women’s protest were organized collectively, beyond party politics and separately from men, to confront state power with demands for the distribution of resources for basic survival” (Benson “Graphic Novel Histories” 200). In other words, Crossroads illuminates the intersectionality of a range of anti-apartheid struggles and the ways in which these manifested themselves through non-parliamentarian praxes.

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