Feminist Activist Archives: Towards a Living History of the Gender Education Training Network (GETNET)

Koni Benson


This article engages the dilemmas and challenges of writing histories of the recent past, and of the political agendas of intervening in those histories in the present. This is done through producing an archive of documentation and oral histories of the Gender Education Training Network, GETNET. GETNET was a feminist political education organisation formed in South Africa in the 1990s that is best known for creating spaces of thinking and learning to strengthen action and intervention at numerous levels from 1992 to 2014. This article portrays the history and pedagogy as well as groundbreaking work of GETNET—the first gender training organisation in South Africa that attempted to make real the gains made on paper by challenging gender dynamics and institutionalised sexism in post-apartheid South Africa. It draws on the literature of activist archiving and feminist methodologies of intergenerational dialogue, aiming to (a) share some of the most radical and relevant work done in the decade after 1994 by anti-apartheid feminist activists developing what they called indigenous and regional perspectives, materials, and methodologies to expose and shift gender dynamics, and (b) to spark ideas and conversations about ways of producing activist archives that are accountable to both movements and to the future.


South Africa; feminist political education; history; activism; women; Gender Education Training Network (GETNET)

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/1947-9417/3704

Copyright (c) 2018 Koni Benson

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