Race, Gender, Politics and Transnationalism in the Making of Surfing’s Sixties in South Africa

In a chapter titled “Pushing under the Whitewash: Revisiting the Making of South Africa’s Surfing Sixties” in Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee and Alexander Sotelo Eastman (eds), The Critical Surf Studies Reader, (Durham: Duke University  Press, 2017), I explores the making of the South African surfing lifestyle in Sixties.
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The chapter historicizes how surfing in South Africa was raced, gendered and shaped by transnational surf culture. The socio-cultural determinations of racial exclusion and male privilege are examined through the intersectionality of a tanned whiteness fashioned through beach apartheid, lifestyle consumption and an imported “California dreaming.” In revisiting South African surfing’s emergence in the years from 1959 to 1968, this chapter seeks to push under the whitewash of that period and point to the persistence in the present of South African surfing’s founding mythologies.
From book’s blurb – “The Critical Surf Studies Reader brings together eighteen interdisciplinary essays that explore surfing’s history and development as a practice embedded in complex and sometimes oppositional social, political, economic, and cultural relations. Refocusing the history and culture of surfing, this volume pays particular attention to reclaiming the roles that women, indigenous peoples, and people of color have played in surfing.”
The introduction to the volume by Hough-Snee and Eastman, which provides a historiographic overview of surfing studies, can be downloaded here.
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