During COVID-19 we’ve seen the concept of the “new normal” used threateningly or as a dangling carrot. Many if not most of us are focused on surviving, trying to stay alive while worrying about our livelihoods and are overwhelmed by the shadow of this question. Whatever the new normal becomes, it is being participated in and co-created by everyone however and it will have our buy-in whether we opt-in consciously or not.
I am certifiably sane; a writer and rabble-rouser who has retired from the rat race. An anti-social, social commentator who has nothing more to say. Switched off from the hi-fi mass hysteria and tuning into a lower frequency soil symphony. An apprentice alchemist practicing the art of turning horse-shit into food.
I am humxn trying to navigate a world of uncertainty with much uncertainty, vulnerability, and fostering shared accountability. I identify as a third culture kid, often feeling disjointed and confused in my process of imagining a present reality and just future for my daughter and society more broadly. I write about feminist parenting, class privilege, and inequality, social contracts, the global political economy, and vulnerability. I love the work I do, which is has been largely driven by my calling to social justice. I feel like it is my poeisis and I try to live that truth of humility and radical kindness in my personal and professional sphere. I often do this imperfectly and I struggle to separate myself from my doing and my roles (including as a civil society activist, confused economist, and aspiring writer).
Dylan Valley is a documentary filmmaker and academic. His most recent film is a 360/VR documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2020. Dylan is on the editorial board of Africa is a Country, and sometimes moonlights as a competent but amateur vinyl DJ.
Dorah Marema is the President of Gender CC, an organisation working for gender equality and climate justice. Dorah Marema believes that in order to reach a healthy and resilient world that fosters one human race, society has to develop capacities to solve the most pressing problems—like racial inequality, ecological destruction, and poverty—by drawing on the wisdom and wealth already present in its people, traditions, culture, and environment. Dorah believes that change of large – scale unjust systems emerge when local actions get connected globally – while preserving their deeply local, flavour, and form… As a leader in a number of organisations, she has been at the forefront of working for gender equality, women’s rights, and global climate justice and economic transformation.
Maurice is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Cloud Atlas Investing. Maurice holds an Accounting Honours degree. He is an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow, a recipient of the Student Sponsorship Programme bursary and an alumni of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute. Maurice started his career as an Intern at Nedbank and Absa before joining the National Empowerment Fund. After completing his studies he went on to work as a junior analyst at Convergence Partners, a private equity firm.He joined Deutsche Bank in 2010 and worked as a Prime Broking Associate, he was the client representative for pension funds, LISPs and hedge funds that traded both domestic and foreign asset classes and also worked with the equity synthetics team.
I was born in Cape Town in the early 1960s to struggle parents of slave and Khoekhoe descent. She grew up in exile (Zambia, England, Sweden), and returned home to study at the University of Cape Town in 1983. This was just in time to experience the last chapter of the liberation struggle, which she did within the Black Consciousness Movement. By 1986 I had dropped out of varsity and was learning Revolution 101 in Mitchell’s Plain. In 1991, with the release of political prisoners and a negotiated settlement on the horizon I reluctantly ran out of reasons to neglect my studies and graduated eventually with a Master’s degree in History in 1994 and a Ph. D. in Economic History in 2002. I have consulted for both government and various NGOs on issues relating to gender equality in policy and practice. I’ve published widely both locally and internationally on various topics related to gender equality, queer theory, as well as the history of First Nations South Africans. I’ve worked for five years as Commissioner For Gender Equality, based in Cape Town.I’ve worked as Advisor to Project 90 by 2030, an NGO which focuses on food security, energy, and promoting entrepreneurship in the context of climate change. I believe that you can write a hundred papers and attend a thousand conferences, but nothing has the impact of actually practicing what you preach. So these days I run a small business making organic carbon neutral soaps, body-butters, ointments, and candles, based on many years of researching and growing indigenous plants on her smallholding in Gordon’s Bay. I reckon one bar of soap does more to make a difference to end climate change than all my words. *Yvette has decided to approach this inter-generationally and has teamed up with her niece Amy Brown, a poet and popular ad proudly queer Emcee from Cape Town.
I have a degree in Psychological counselling and I’m a certified make-up artist, I’m a mom of 4 who does not stand down on my opinion. I like to consider myself realistic, most people think I’m pessimistic, I navigate the ins and outs of society’s failures trying to help others rise above. I’ve spent the entire Lockdown feeding families and helping soup kitchens to overcome their difficulties finding resources and help. I started an electricity drive where people can help assist others by buying electricity to help keep the lights on.
I struggle with, parenting, staying out of trouble, and fighting for justice. Every day is a new day to start over. I’m known to be annoying, perseverant, and misunderstood.
I’m pretty awesome to have as an ally, I’m quite resourceful and street smart, but not free from faults and flaws. Every day is a new day to learn and teach, I try to take a lesson out of everything, mostly my mistakes. Always eager to learn and solve new problems, I always have too little hours in my day. I call myself the serious mommy, by taking everything too seriously one problem at a time. Serious, as in seriously excited to find solutions and play the game.