BANTUSTAN is a travelogue, novel, atlas and encyclopedia. It is at once a textbook for independent travel in Africa, an intimate confession, an illustrated atlas, a collection of strange destinies, a list of little secrets and shame. Alternating between three narrators, it is a story of division, isolation and contact. Bantustans were reservations for Black Africans set up by the apartheid regime; in this book, bantustans refer to the bubbles in which we all live our lives. The three protagonists, as well as the people they encounter along the way, are constantly struggling to escape these multi-layered bubbles – of ego, family, social circle, class, race, religion, ethnicity, language, nationality etc – and establish contact with the rest of the world. Such attempts are often painful and sometimes downright disastrous, leading to a series of conflicts, disappointments and crises, but ultimately confirming the possibilities and importance of human connections.
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