Language is a breathable place: “that words must get out of the way for something else to come through’’ (Klonaris, 2011).

Language is a breathable place: “that words must get out of the way for something else to come through’’ (Klonaris, 2011).

Nomcebisi Moyikwa 

University of KwaZulu/Natal

Mlondiwethu Dubazane


Being black, woman and man, we already know the structures of being appeased by the given languages offered to us. Usually, the given stories about our social life are narrated/told within a language that is suspicious of us; a language that erases, refuses and dismembers us from our lived continuities. This paper will bring evidence to what it could mean to refuse to exist as corpses in language. It is not simply an appearance in language, but a way of transforming language into a space that insists ba sikhona. We arrive, questioning: How do we insist on our lives with and within a language that birth systems that insist on killing on us? How can we language our story when language (as a system of rules) is a place of murder? How can we transform language into a breathable place that honours the intimate and rich landscape of black social life (Hartman, 2020). To do this we are going to write through the lexicon of movement, to recognise our way of moving as valid entry into our ways of thinking, which adopts a movement sensibility to and for the writing. Writing from the lexicon of movement allows us to open language up, take it apart, leaving it bare; to reveal the physical, quiet soundings and harsh longings that is and of social black life. That you are able to see us in movement, suspending, meditating, doubting not doubting – curling ourselves to the unfolding of our living reality.

Biography: Nomcebisi Moyikwa

Nomcebisi Moyikwa is currently a mother to Khayone, and Artist and a Drama and Performance Studies Lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus. She is interested in death, composition and possibilities, as well as being obsessed with Fred Moten’s writing and blown away by her mother’s neck.

Biography: Mlondiwethu Dubazane

Mlondiwethu Dubazane is an aspiring writer and performer engaged in the private and public slippages between intimacy, desire, playfulness and violence that bedevil the navigation of (heteronormative) relationships among black men.