oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Apartheid in the food : an overview of the diverse social meanings attached to food and its consumption within South African prisons during the colonial and apartheid periods (part two)
The aim of this article as a whole is to provide a brief overview of the diverse social meanings attached to food and its consumption within South African prisons during the colonial and apartheid periods. Part one of the article began by focusing on prison dietary scales in colonial Natal. In particular, the origins of racially defined punishment were examined through the lens of the ever changing prison dietary scales which characterised the colonial period. The focus then shifted to the apartheid period, with an exploration of the social meanings attached to prison food during this time. A central theme associated with this period was identified, namely the use of food as an expression of power, dominance and control within South African prisons. One of three subsections into which this central theme is divided in the article as a whole was examined in part one of the article, namely the manner in which prison dietary scales seemed designed to take the freedom out of the food by robbing prisoners' food of all positive social meaning.
Part two of this article will move to a discussion of the second and third subsections referred to in the previous paragraph. The second subsection concerns the manner in which food, and the withholding thereof, was used by the prison authorities as a direct form of punishment, while the third subsection concerns the manner in which the ideology of apartheid literally penetrated South African prison food. Following this, part two of this article will move on to a second central theme, which examines the manner in which food and its (non-) consumption was employed as an active weapon of resistance by prisoners in apartheid jails. In particular the use of hunger strikes in chipping away at the power of the apartheid prison authorities will be discussed. Final conclusions will then be drawn.
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