Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 October 2020
Those who have died have never never left The dead have a pact with the living
—Birago Diop, “Breaths”
CAPE TOWN, A GLOBAL CITY IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN POSTCOLONY. The emancipatory or transformative moments signaled by the prefix post are often incomplete, unfinished, haunted. This essay is about the human bones on which the foundations of Cape Town are built. It is a story about the human cost of the city's development, which led to the resurfacings of disavowed histories of violence. It is a recounting of a slowly unfolding reckoning with the haunting claims of the dead as they return, in their time and on their terms.