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Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Yves Vanderhaeghen’s Afrikaner Identity looks at the role that media plays in the construction and demarcation of boundaries and culture

What have we done?’ is a plea heard amid the wreckage of Afrikanerdom.

‘Afrikaner’ in South African public discourse is more often than not a swear word.

This close media study considers how, squeezed in the moral vice of past and present, Afrikaners look in a mirror that reflects only a beautiful people.

It is an image of upstanding, hard-working citizens.

To hold on to that image requires blinkers, sleights of hand and contortion.

Above all, it requires an inversion of the liberation narrative in which the wretched of South Africa are the historical oppressors, besieged in their language, their homes, their jobs.

They are the new ‘grievables’, an identity that requires intricate moral manoeuvres, and elision as much of the past as of transformation.
 
Yves Vanderhaeghen is a journalist who grew up in Pretoria, took time out from newspapers to write his PhD on Afrikaner ‘self-othering’ in Beeld newspaper, and is now editor of the Witness in Pietermaritzburg.

‘Central to the book’s original contribution is the notion of “self-othering”, namely the discursive switch present in Afrikaans media that turns perpetrators into victims in an attempt to dislodge the historical burden of collective guilt and assume a new identity of marginalisation – thereby activating a discourse of minority rights and the need for cultural protection. This is a significant, authentic insight that the author goes on to support through empirical analysis of newspaper reports.’ — Herman Wasserman, professor of Media Studies and director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town

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Watch: Christi van der Westhuizen discusses Sitting Pretty on SABC Morning Live

At the opening of South Africa’s first democratic parliament in 1994, newly elected president Nelson Mandela issued a clarion call to an unlikely group: white Afrikaans women, who during apartheid straddled the ambivalent position of being simultaneously oppressor and oppressed.

He conjured the memory of poet Ingrid Jonker as ‘both an Afrikaner and an African’ who ‘instructs that our endeavours must be about the liberation of the woman, the emancipation of the man and the liberty of the child’. More than two decades later, the question is: how have white Afrikaans women responded to the liberating possibilities of constitutional democracy?

With Afrikaner nationalism in disrepair, and official apartheid in demise, have they re-imagined themselves in opposition to colonial ideas of race, gender, sexuality and class?

This book explores this postapartheid identity through the concepts of ordentlikheid, as an ethnic form of respectability, and the volksmoeder, or mother of the nation, as enduring icon.

Christi van der Westhuizen is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pretoria.

Van der Westhuizen recently discussed her necessary, thought-provoking book on SABC Morning Live. Watch the full interview here:

Sitting Pretty

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Watch: Zakes Mda discusses Justify the Enemy on eNCA

Justify the Enemy is a collection of non-fiction by the prolific author Zakes Mda. It showcases his role as a public intellectual with the inclusion of public lectures, essays and media articles. Mda focuses on South Africa’s history and the present, identity and belonging, the art of writing, human rights, global warming and why he is unable to keep silent on abuses of power.

Some of his best-known novels include Ways of Dying (1995, MNet Book Prize); The Heart of Redness (2000, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Africa, and Sunday Times Fiction Prize); The Madonna of Excelsior (2002, one of the Top Ten South African books published in the Decade of Democracy); The Whale Caller (2005); Cion (2007); Black Diamond (2009); The Sculptors of Mapungubwe (2013); Rachel’s Blue (2014); and Little Suns (2015, Sunday Times Literary Award).

Zakes Mda was born in Herschel in the Eastern Cape in 1948 and studied in South Africa, Lesotho and the United States. He wrote his first short story at the age of fifteen and has since won major South African and British literary awards for his novels and plays. His writing has been translated into twenty languages. Mda is a professor of Creative Writing at Ohio University.

J.U. Jacobs is an emeritus professor and senior research associate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the co-editor of Ways of Writing: Critical Essays on Zakes Mda (2009) and author of Diaspora and Identity in South African Fiction (2016).

Mda recently discussed Justify the Enemy with John Perlman on Perlman’s eNCA-programme, Under the Skin. Watch their conversation here:

Justify the Enemy

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Watch: Daniel Magaziner discusses The Art of Life in South Africa on SABC 2 Morning Live

From 1952 to 1981, South Africa’s apartheid government ran a school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal. The Art of Life in South Africa is about the students, teachers, art, ideas, and politics that led to the school’s founding, and which circulated during the years of its existence at a remote former mission station. It is a story of creativity, beauty, and community in twentieth-century South Africa.

Daniel Magaziner radically reframes apartheid-era South African history. Against the dominant narrative of apartheid oppression and black resistance, this book focuses instead on a small group’s efforts to fashion more fulfilling lives through the ironic medium of an apartheid-era school. Lushly illustrated with almost 100 images, this book gives us fully formed lives and remarkable insights into life under segregation and apartheid.

Daniel Magaziner is associate professor of history at Yale University. He is the author of The Law and the Prophets: Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968–1977.

‘A richly suggestive and moving contribution to South African intellectual history.’
- Achille Mbembe, author of Critique of Black Reason

‘This book is as important for students of global modernism as it is for scholars of South African art, history, and politics.’
- Tamar Garb, author of Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography

‘A profoundly human story of the institutional and social constraints under which African artists operated and the different ways they sought to produce beauty in the midst of oppression.’
- Frederick Cooper, author of Africa in the World: Capitalism, Empire, Nation-State

‘A meditation on what happens if we examine a past that is shaped by broader historical forces (in this case apartheid) but that cannot be reduced to them.’
- Clifton Crais, coeditor of The South Africa Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Here Daniel discusses his remarkable book on SABC2:
 
 

 

The Art of Life in South Africa

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Good Stories and Great Dreams: Gcina Mhlophe Describes Her Hopes for Young South Africans (Video)

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaStories of AfricaHave You Seen Zandile?
Love ChildOur Story MagicHi Zoleka!Haai Zoleka!

 
Gcina Mhlophe, actress and storyteller, was recently interviewed by Jennifer Sanasie for News 24.

Mhlophe, who had just given a talk to a group of young people, told Sanasie about how “honoured and humbled” she is to hear about how her work has affected and inspired her audience, and says she is “so excited to see and hear what young people are doing in South Africa today”.

She goes on to speak about the importance of young people being allowed to express their dreams, disappointments and good stories.

Watch the video:

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Gcina Mhlophe’s 57th Birthday Celebrated with Friends and Fans (Video)

Haai Zoleka!Hi Zoleka!Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-Afrika
Have You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story Magic

 
Gcina Mhlophe recently celebrated her 57th birthday at an event hosted by Newtown Junction.

Friends shared birthday messages, and many people who have been inspired and entertained by the beloved storyteller joined in to wish her well.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka complimented her as a “good-hearted person”, and said she didn’t know her own age. Poets Zaide Hearnecker and Natalia Molebatsi added their well-wishes, as did a host of musicians with whom Mhlope has worked.

Watch the video of personal birthday messages for Mhlophe:

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The celebration included photo opportunities, the chance to write a birthday message, and plenty of singing by Mhlophe and others.

Watch the video:

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Image courtesy of Motivation Speakers Bookings


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“The Long Walk from Volkekunde to Anthropology” – CS van der Waal’s Account (Video)

Winelands, Wealth and WorkCS van der Waal – editor of Winelands, Wealth and Work: Transformations in the Dwars River Valley, Stellenbosch – recently presented a seminar, hosted by Indexing The Human, about “The Long Walk from Volkekunde to Anthropology”.

Van der Waal explains the crisis of paradigm and the shift it necessitated in his anthropological focus. He shares the story his move from the Netherlands, the influence of his childhood church, and how interesting he found Hendrik Verwoerd, another Dutch immigrant who achieved great success in South Africa.

The anthropologist’s account of the ideas and people who shaped his understanding of life in South Africa and the discipline of anthropology is absolutely fascinating and enlightening.

Watch the video:

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Gcina Mhlophe Inspires Creative Writing Students (Plus: Watch Mhlophe Perform at Poetry Africa)

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaHave You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story MagicStories of AfricaSongs and Stories of Africa

 
Legendary storyteller, poet and activist Gcina Mhlophe visited the Durban University of Technology last month where she shared pearls of writing wisdom at the 3rd Writing Competition organised by the DUT Writing Centre.

Mhlophe, who facilitated a workshop with the finalists and was the guest speaker at the awards ceremony, spoke about the importance of writing in your mother tongue.

Read the article:

The prominent Mhlophe told the attendees that, “when they write they write in their mother tongue languages”. “Each and every time as a writer you must use the language you are good at, do not try to write in the language that you are not comfortable with. People must write about something they know well and something that they have experienced,” Mhlophe said.

Siphesihle Mthethwa who is an aspiring poet and DUT student said, “To be in the same room as she (Mhlophe) is a privilege. I am inspired by all her writings and the way she does her thing, it is a wonderful experience to meet her today.”

The 19th Poetry Africa Festival started today, with an exciting line-up of local and international poets.

Vanguard shared a video from 2010 when Mhlophe performed at the 14th Poetry Africa Festival. “Let’s play with an old poem … the weather outside calls for it,” Mhlophe says, before reading “Sometimes When it Rains”.

Watch the video:

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Video: Steven Friedman and Mazibuko Jara Discuss the Teachings of Harold Wolpe

Race, Class and PowerSteven Friedman and United Front (UF) national secretary Mazibuko Jara recently engaged in a rigorous debate around Friedman’s latest book, Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid.

Race, Class and Power focuses on the life and work of Harold Wolpe, a radical scholar and anti-apartheid activist who became a symbol of alternative action in the 1960s. Friedman will also be talking about his book at the South African Book Fair this year.

Jara served as the chairperson of the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust, until it had to be closed down for financial reasons, but says that the organisation continues to engage in intellectual projects.

In the Dispatch Dialogue, Friedman quotes Wolpe on the democratisation of ideas and the role of academics: “It’s the job of the intellectual who’s attached to a movement to tell the leadership of the movement how society is working.”

Friedman and Jara discuss the alternative methods of governance as proposed by Wolpe, among others an “organised community-based mass movement” that will empower everyone, not just the political elite.

Read the article, written by Msindisi Fengu, and watch the video:

Questions were asked from the floor about the alliance’s trajectory, race and class relations and the relevance of marxist political theory in South Africa.

Friedman said he did not think the ANC would be able to change its course.

“I doubt that is capable of happening until the ANC is out of power because I cannot see the ANC in power reinventing itself. There are too many hands in too many goodies.”

He said new people had been absorbed into the elite, but exclusion which existed before 1994 still exists.

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Also read:

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Steven Friedman Explains Why the Contribution of Harold Wolpe is Still Relevant Today (Video)

Race, Class and PowerSteven Friedman, director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, was recently interviewed by Shannon de Ryhove for Polity about his new book Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid.

In the interview, Friedman says that he saw this book as a great opportunity spark important debate about South African society. Harold Wolpe’s writings were hugely important and influential at the time, but they are not remembered today.

Friedman says that one of the problems in this country is that we have “hugely short memories”. South Africa, he says, needs ideas like Wolpe’s in order to have worthwhile debates.

Watch the video:

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