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african experience

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  • March 4, 2023
A photograph taken of Black South Africans at a church celebration during the apartheid era.Milisuthando, courtesy of Sundance Institute.

The self-described South African “writer, editor, cultural worker and artist”—and now debut feature filmmaker—Milisuthando Bongela grew up under apartheid. Yet she also didn’t, at least not within the straightforward narrative of having witnessed a racist colonial regime heroically toppled by Black liberator Nelson Mandela. Indeed, the young Bongela wasn’t aware of her fellow Black countrymen’s struggle in cities like Soweto. But neither were most of the residents of The Transkei, an unrecognized Black independent region established by the oppressors to conjure the illusion that being “separate but equal” not only worked, but could provide

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