In My Life: Stories from young activists 2002–2022

[In My Life] is a book of striking life stories by youth AIDS activists in South Africa, crafted over the course of two decades, an entire generation. The collection’s 13 narratives by young people of their lives from their teens to their thirties turn into evocative and reflective accounts of the unfolding of a self. In these, In My Life shares something delicate and important: how to create a way of knowing one another deeply in our country of distances and invisibility. Their stories of ordinary nearness, of friendship, risk, trust, hurt and trying again convey the vital possibilities of everyday realities in South Africa. Together these give the collection an almost breathtaking force. Through it, we are invited to wonder what it means to be near one another, in a multitude of ways. In My Life’s hard-won, jagged intimacies and depth of relation come from 20 years of practicing a radical, difficult, continual becoming and togetherness.

-Gabeba Baderoon, author of Regarding Muslims: From Slavery to Post-Apartheid, and The History of Intimacy

Mathew Johannes

Mandla Oliphant

Kaylene Schroeder

Mphumzi Mphura Xokozela


Fire and Hope Documentary



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