in: Third World Quarterly, first published 02.08.2021
With reference to Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s plea to move beyond the single story, we take the complexities of the ‘Global South’ meta category as a starting point to explore what abandoning the quest for neatness can look like. Building on the main arguments put forward across this volume, our contribution centres around questions of position(alitie)s and self-reflexivity to engage with the persistent ambivalences of the ‘Global South’. We reflect on the unease stemming from explicit and implicit claims connected to the ‘Global South’ category and discuss its fluidity and plurality across space and time. Ultimately, we suggest embracing the notion of polyphony for approaching the ‘Global South’. A focus on polyphonies allows us to connect specific meanings and their implications with a broader take on the inherent complexities of macro categories. Working with and through polyphonies also helps us to recognise and engage with the evolving agency behind different uses of the ‘Global South’.