This talk argues that the black female imago is at once the “midwife” of historical transformation. “She ”is the secreted origin of the “African Family,” at once a locus of persecution and lost object of desire that sustains culturalist discourses that enable the recursive logic of originary accumulation. Remarking a homology between originary accumulation, the incest taboo, and Frantz Fanon’s elaboration Negro Myth, Samala Faux turns ethnographic scrutiny to the specters of sexual violence, illegal abortion, and the occult that animate and dominate contemporary thematizations of South Africa’s crises in social reproduction. In turn, she traces connections between the spectralization of the value-form, sexual violence and the theft of the black female body.

Chloe Samala Faux is a 7th year doctoral candidate in anthropology at Columbia University. Her research interrogates the historical and emergent dilemmas of black reproductivity in post-apartheid South African by way of ancestrality, natality, and sexual violence in South Africa. Oriented by the convergences of race and gender, violence and desire, her work is rooted in and responds to the idioms of classical anthropology: myth, sacrifice, kinship, the gift, ritual and fetish.

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