Discourse(s) of Identity: Precarity and (In)visibility in Farida Karodia’s Daughters of the Twilight
Apartheid South Africa witnessed the forming of cultural and sexual identities within political strategies that were designed to categorize and regulate “non-white” individuals. By dealing with interactions between white men and black women, South African literary works in the penultimate years of apartheid demonstrate apartheid’s structural viciousness and gendered hierarchy through certain innovative deviations. Daughters of the Twilight (1986) by Farida Karodia is one such text that not only sheds light on the masculine, racialized, and patriarchal apartheid structure of the male gaze, but also inherently disallows the female characters of Karodia’s narrative to inhabit neither day nor night, as implied by the term “twilight,” and relegates them to a territory somewhere between, due to their categorization as well as racial-sexual implications. Considering these dynamics of gaze and racial segregation along with Homi K. Bhabha’s notion of hybridity and Judith Butler’s concept of precarity and vulnerability, this article intends to show how statutory racial exclusion adversely affected the emotional well-being of the family in Karodia’s narrative. Thus, the article demonstrates how politics, culture, and gendered mechanisms work as matrices under which the women characters negotiate attributes of their agency. the purpose of this article is to interrogate sexual violence and to illustrate how the intersection of sexual and racial hegemony under apartheid silenced subaltern voices. The article then indicates how Karodia employs “South Africanness” to destabilize the socio-cultural and political discourses of women by rendering them visible in the hegemonic cartography of apartheid.
Karmakar, Goutam and Chetty, Rajendra
"Discourse(s) of Identity: Precarity and (In)visibility in Farida Karodia’s Daughters of the Twilight,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
4, Article 13.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss4/13