The writing's on the wall ... and in other forbidden places: youth using languaging practices to mediate the past in formal and informal learning spaces
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This chapter is firmly located in the 'after-life' of my doctoral research, a period that has been incredibly productive for looking at what I did in new ways, in conversation with colleagues who have used different conceptual approaches. My PhD explored a language and a place, neither of which I fully understand. I was not raised up speaking this language, or living in this place. The language could be called Kaapse Afrikaans, an informal version of Afrikaans. I have called the place Rosemary Gardens to protect the identities of the people whose words I 'took' or 'documented', depending on how you interpret these things. I worked with young people in Rosemary Gardens partly because it made me feel better about myself, that I was atoning for my whiteness. But also because I learnt about myself, the places that I live in and the divisions between myself and others through this work. As a researcher working for the Extra-Mural Education Project (EMEP), a position I held while completing my PhD, I will never forget how students at schools I visited would ask me uncle, what country are you from? The only white people they saw were German and American volunteers; it was unfathomable to them that I could have been born 10 kilometres away from where they lived, and that we shared a city, a nationality, a continent.