I have written this blogpost for a friends blog, as part of her guest contributions. The post itself is a critical look at myself in the context of spirituality, privilege, positionality, and appropriation. Such self-reflection has been important to me, especially considering my own politics, and what I write about them.
Written by HeJin Kim
Which is a very loaded statement; not in the least because the word “healer”, in English has all sorts of new age connotations, but mostly because of my own positionality. More accurate would be to say that I am iSangoma, which would be confusing to anyone who doesn’t know what that is (basically anyone who is not from Southern Africa and/or doesn’t speak a Nguni language.) The problem is that there are two ways for me to look at it: personal and political… though the two aren’t separate (it would be easier if it was), the old saying “the personal is political” might be somewhat retro, but it still applies in many of its interpretations.
But let me start in a more linear way to explain what I’m trying to explain. I am iSangoma, I am also Korean (South-Korean… and a Korean adoptee, specifically)…
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