Looking from the outside in - people, place and practice

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The politics of touching

This morning I was presently surprised to see people holding FREE HUGS placards in the Cape Town train station. They were handing out, well, free hugs of course. I always loved this idea, and almost forgot about it, I must say. But I love the way something like hugs or smiles can surpass all those boundaries that exist between people. That is race, gender, class, etc. So maybe we'll call this the politics of touching. Touching others have a long history, especially in South Africa, where say interracial marriage, gay-marriage, etc. has been taboo for many years. Beaches and park benches were divided between whites and non-whites, because people were, and still are, afraid of touching each other. If we can find a way to solve  the many conflicts people have with race, gender, etc. and to engage with the politics of touching. People have to realise that we are much more similar than we are different and that we can start to change the world by getting closer to each other.

For more visit Free Hugs

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