Monday, May 7, 2007

Shabashni Moodley

Shabashni Moodley
Shabashni Moodley is a Masters Student at the Centre for Industrial Organisational and Labour Studies. Her social conscience and passion for development has framed her current research on Corporate Social Investment in South Africa. She describes Durban as a space that perfectly combines luxury dwellings and informal settlements as neighbours, the serenity of the ocean and crime hysteric streets, and a token show of different ‘race’ groups without the actual practice of ‘racial’ blending.

In her chapter, Nightlife in Durban and ‘racial’ divisions, Shabashni argues that nightclubs, like those at the beachfront, are not simply social spaces for people to relax, but ‘microcosms of the larger societal context,’ in which people are divided in terms of ‘race’ and class. She writes that she used to fantasise about nightlife, associating it with meeting, flirting and dancing with people of all backgrounds. Recent experiences in Durban, however, have caused her to view some nightclubs as black, white, Indian or coloured, upmarket or downmarket. She writes about an experience at a mainly white club, examining her discomfort at being the 'token Indian' female. She contrasts this with a less racialised experience in Cape Town, speculating on how and why Durban's student nightclubs so racialised in comparison.

Moodley, Shabashni. 'Nightlife in Durban and ‘racial’ divisions', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 126-131.