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Borchardt, F. (2020). Encountering the other: Jungian Analysts and Traditional Healers in South Africa Part II: The Context. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(1):209-211.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(1):209-211

Encountering the other: Jungian Analysts and Traditional Healers in South Africa Part II: The Context

Fred Borchardt, M.A.

I want to say something about the context of our project. Traditional health practitioners in Africa were practising long before that continent was named ‘Africa’ by outsiders such as the Romans. This was long before European forces annexed large portions of the newly named continent on behalf of their kings and queens and then made subjects out of the newly named ‘Africans’ who had always lived there.

A good summary of the complications brought about by colonial history is provided by a widely reported event which happened in Cape Town on the 9th of March 2015, about 18 months before the first meeting between Jungian analysts and traditional health practitioners took place. On that day a man named Chumani Maxwele emptied a bucket of human faeces over a bronze statue of Cecil John Rhodes on the main campus of the University of Cape Town, while shouting: ‘Where are our heroes and ancestors?’ (Timeline of the Rhodes Must Fall Movement, 2017). This event led to the social activism movement #RhodesMustFall, which demanded the removal of the statue of the historical global financier and benefactor-founder of the university. As the movement gained momentum, it mutated into different sub-movements linked by general aims to address social injustices and racial discrimination in post-apartheid South African university settings. A focus of the protests were the thought systems imposed by colonialists on the populations they controlled, and the way in which this repressed indigenous thought systems.

Eighteen months later, in October 2016, by the time our small group of Jungians and traditional health practitioners had our first meeting, the statue had long been removed and the student revolt had been channelled into sporadic protests throughout the country and even abroad.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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