Entangled (Her)Stories. Gender Solidarity and Civil War in Nuruddin Farah’s "Knots"

Lorenzo Mari


This paper focuses on the representation of gender solidarity in Nuruddin Farah’s Knots (2007). The novel is set during Somali civil war, which started in 1991 and is still ongoing. its plot revolves around its female protagonist, Cambara, and her project of rescuing her family house from the hands of a local warlord, Gudcur, and staging there a theatrical version of a traditional African fable, “Fly, Eagle, Fly!, in James Kweyir Aggrey’s version. Cambara’s plan involves a peculiar type of gender solidarity, based on storytelling and performativity, which points at the ontological combination of solidity and instability within any conception of “solidarity”. While facing a lot material and symbolic restraints, Cambara’s project appears nonetheless to be a positive, transnational example of Sarah Nuttall’s notion of “entanglement” (2009), which was first developed within South African Cultural Studies. 

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ISSN 2465-2415


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