Facing Others: Towards an Ethics of Ubuntu
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Stuit further explores ubuntu as a convergence of interests by comparing the idea of responsibility in Levinas to the concept of ubuntu. This discussion focuses on multiplicity and complicity and is realized through analysing Muholi’s photographic series Faces and Phases, which aims to obtain public space for fluid notions of gender, sexuality, and race. Ubuntu emerges as an activation of the individual’s relation to his or her surroundings rather than as a paralysing contradiction (or aporia) that inhibits the individual’s agency. This possible location for an ethics of ubuntu is further explored through a close reading of Ndebele’s novel The Cry of Winnie Mandela, where community consists of a strategic negotiation of openness towards others without losing the personal security needed to relate to others on an equal footing.