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In the shattered fantasy of rainbow-nation South Africa, there are many uncomfortable truths. Among these are family secrets - the legacies of traumas in the homes and bones of ordinary South African families.
In this debut collection, feminist and Khoi San activist Kelly-Eve Koopman grapples with the complex beauty and brutality of the everyday as she struggles with her family legacy. She tries unsuccessfully to forget her father - a not-so-prominent journalist and anti-apartheid activist, desperately mentally ill and expertly emotionally abusive - who has recently disappeared, leaving behind a wake of difficult memories. Mesmerisingly, Koopman wades through the flotsam and jetsam of generations, among shipwrecks and sunken treasures, in an attempt at familial and collective healing.
Sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious, she faces up to herself as a brown, newly privileged "elder millennial", caught between middle-class aspirations and social justice ideals. An artist, a daughter, a queer woman in love, she is in pursuit of healing, while trying to lose those last 5 kilograms, to the great disappointment of her feminist self.
Africa Reimagined is a passionately argued appeal for a rediscovery of our African identity. Going beyond the problems of a single country, Hlumelo Biko calls for a reorientation of values, on a continental scale, to suit the needs and priorities of Africans. Building on the premise that slavery, colonialism, imperialism and apartheid fundamentally unbalanced the values and indeed the very self-concept of Africans, he offers realistic steps to return to a more balanced Afro-centric identity.
Historically, African values were shaped by a sense of abundance, in material and mental terms, and by strong ties of community. The intrusion of religious, economic and legal systems imposed by conquerors, traders and missionaries upset this balance, and the African identity was subsumed by the values of the newcomers. Biko shows how a reimagining of Africa can restore the sense of abundance and possibility, and what a rebirth of the continent on Pan-African lines might look like. This is not about the churn of the news cycle or party politics – although he identifies the political party as one of the most pernicious legacies of colonialism. Instead, drawing on latest research, he offers a practical, pragmatic vision anchored in the here and now.
By looking beyond identities and values imposed from outside, and transcending the divisions and frontiers imposed under colonialism, it should be possible for Africans to develop fully their skills, values and ingenuity, to build institutions that reflect African values, and to create wealth for the benefit of the continent as a whole.
When opportunity strikes, television producer Deon Maas joins the boatloads of migrants heading for Germany. Faced with the choice of taking all his possessions along or selling everything, he opts for the latter. With a duffel bag and his four dogs, he departs for the First World.
Decadent Berlin blows his mind but also leaves him at a loss for words. As he criss-crosses the city, scratching at its pulsating underbelly, he marvels at German idiosyncrasies, and is roped into this new world by an array of vegan anarchists, eclectic musicians, football hooligans and graffiti artists.
As he tries to settle in, he has to deal with everything from obnoxious bureaucrats to nosy neighbours. In the process, Maas debunks a few myths about the First World: it’s not a perfect place where everything works, and German efficiency is definitely overrated.
By confronting the loss of his support network and adapting to a different political and social context, he learns exactly how deep his African roots go and what it takes to find your place in Europe as a white African.
South Africa’s pre-eminent historian explains the spectacular rise – and probable demise – of the numerical minority that dominated 20th-century South Africa.
The Afrikaners are unique in the world in that they successfully mobilised ethnic entrepreneurship without state assistance, controlled the entire country, and then yielded power without military defeat. Award-winning author Hermann Giliomee takes a hard analytical look at this group’s dramatic ascent and possible disappearance as a nation in a series of well-argued thematic chapters. Topics range from ethnic entrepreneurship, the ‘coloured vote’ and ‘Bantu’ education to Nelson Mandela’s relationship with the last Afrikaner leaders.
It ends with a final chapter on the most likely future for this sometimes admired, often reviled group, which undoubtedly left the largest imprint on South African history in the 20th century.
How does a middle-class Afrikaans boytjie from Springs, a rebellious product of Christelik-nasionale Opvoeding, end up in the grubby world of protest punk, slap-bang in the middle of the anti-apartheid struggle?
The '80s in South Africa were a mess, a schmangled clusterf*ck of a decade. For some, it was braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet. For others, it was a one-eyed bumbling about in a world without signage, desperately looking for the emergency exit. While the black population was becoming increasingly agitated and militant, the white dorps, towns and leafy suburbs of South Africa’s cities were mostly ignorant in their privileged bliss. Whiteys were like the frog in the cooker, not realising that the temperature was on the rise. Soon they would slowly, to their terminal surprise, turn white belly-up amid the froth of bubbles boiling from below. Soon it would be too late to get the hell out.
But in tiny pockets of white rebellion, the country was beginning to hum with resistant energy in Joburg, Cape Town and Durban. The '80s counter-culture and the music it produced was anti-establishment, anti-government, anti-apartheid, but not self-consciously so. While the state saw this strange white subculture as a hive of hedonists and drugged-up nihilists, this anarchic clutter of guitar-wielding, pill-munching, dope-smoking musicians and their followers were in fact a second front in the struggle against apartheid.
In brilliantly tragic and hilarious detail, Between Rock & A Hard Place is the epic memoir of Carsten Rasch’s role in the South African counter-culture Punk and New Wave scene in the late '70s and early '80s. Through his eyes as a musician, promoter and enthusiastic participant, it tells the story of those tumultuous and giddy times with heartfelt irreverence. Veering between lucid moments of desperate innovation and psychotic adventures on the rim of sanity, all the time riding roughshod at delirious speed over the potholes of “culture”, the reader is introduced to half-forgotten heroes, now fast disappearing into the fog of time, and the band of misfits who attempted to disrupt “the system”.
Charles Abrahams is a world-class lawyer who sued multinationals for colluding with the apartheid government, but at twelve he was determined to become a world-famous heartsurgeon. Then a school inspector shattered his dream: coloured children from the Cape Flats 'should not aim too high'. Class Action is the story of how Charles aimed high anyway, despite a childhood that included forced removal, dire poverty and the deep sense of shame of being neither white nor a 'white coloured'. As one of eleven children in a poor family, he experienced constant hardship and family strife.
Violence was ubiquitous: his street was notorious for its gang fights, his father abused his mother at home, and schoolteachers beat darker-skinned children like him. Charles wanted a larger life, and he found it through student politics, anti-apartheid activism and reading. He studied relentlessly, finding not only formidable political weapons, but a means to delve into the damage apartheid had done to his personal identity, selfesteem, sexuality and morality. He went on to qualify as a lawyer and, after defending local gangsters, he sought to do good through human-rights and class-action law. He has since spearheaded some of South Africa’s most historic, groundbreaking lawsuits, pursuing justice for ordinary citizens whose lives were ruined by powers too profit-driven to ever think about them.
Class Action depicts a remarkable journey of resistance and healing in reaction to institutionalised greed and racism and the harm it has done to our identities, our relationships and the people of our country.
Born Karoline King in 1980 in Johannesburg South Africa, Sara-Jayne (as she will later be called by her adoptive parents) is the result of an affair, illegal under apartheid’s Immorality Act, between a white British woman and her black South African employee. Her story reveals the shocking lie created to cover up the forbidden relationship, and the hurried overseas adoption of the illegitimate baby, born during one of history’s most inhumane and destructive regimes.
Killing Karoline follows the journey of the baby girl (categorised as ‘white’ under South Africa’s race classification system) who is raised in a leafy, middle-class corner of the South of England by a white couple. It takes the reader through the formative years, a difficult adolescence and into adulthood, as Sara-Jayne (Karoline) seeks to discover who she is and where she came from. Plagued by questions surrounding her own identity and unable to ‘fit in’ Sara-Jayne (Karoline) begins to turn on herself, before eventually coming full circle and returning to South Africa after 26 years to face her demons. There she is forced to face issues of identity, race, rejection and belonging beyond that which she could ever have imagined.
She must also face her birth family, who in turn must confront what happens when the baby you kill off at a mere six weeks old, returns from the dead.
In 2015, students at the University of Cape Town demanded the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes, the imperialist, racist business magnate, from their campus. The battle cry '#RhodesMustFall' sparked an international movement calling for the decolonisation of the world's universities.
Today, as this movement grows, how will it radically transform the terms upon which universities exist? In this book, students, activists and scholars discuss the possibilities and the pitfalls of doing decolonial work in the home of the coloniser, in the heart of the establishment. Subverting curricula, enforcing diversity, and destroying old boundaries, this is a radical call for a new era of education.
Offering resources for students and academics to challenge and resist coloniality inside and outside the classroom, Decolonising the University provides the tools for radical pedagogical, disciplinary and institutional change.
This book provides an overdue critical re-engagement with the analytical approach exemplified by the work of Harold Wolpe, who was a key theorist within the liberation movement. It probes the following broad questions: how do we understand the trajectory of the post-apartheid period, how did the current situation come about
in the transformation, how does the current situation relate to how a post-apartheid society was conceived in anticipation, and what are the implications of what have been failed ambitions for progressives?
South African higher education students have for the years 2015 and 2016 stood up to demand not only a free education but a decolonised, African-focused education. The calls for decolonisation of knowledge are the ultimate call for freedom. Without the decolonisation of knowledge, Africans may feel their liberation is inchoate and their efforts to shed Western dominance all come to naught.
Over the years various African leaders including Steve Biko wrote about the need to decolonise knowledge. The call for decolonisation is largely being equated with the search for an African identity that looks critically at Western hegemony. Biko sought the black people to understand their origins; to understand black history and affirm black identity. These are all embedded in the struggle to decolonise and search for African values and identities.
The contributors in this book treat several but connected themes that define what Africa and the diaspora require for a society devoid of colonialism and ready for a renewed Africa. “The discussions we develop and the philosophies we adopt on Pan Africanism and decolonisation are due to a bigger vision and for many of us the destination is African renaissance”. Everyone has a role to play in realising African renaissance; government, churches, universities, schools, cultural organisations all have a role to play in this endeavour.
MISTRA's publication on Whiteness Afrikaans Afrikaners: Addressing Post-Apartheid Legacies, Privileges and Burdens consists of various thought-provoking contributions made at a roundtable held in 2015 at Constitution Hill as a continuation of MISTRA’s research on nation formation and social cohesion. The publication aims to enhance the understanding of the history of whiteness in all its socio-economic manifestations as well as the architecture of power relations and privileges in democratic South Africa.
The volume comprises of contributions by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, current Deputy Minister of Cogta, Andries Nel, Mary Burton, Christi van der Westhuizen, Lynette Steenveld, Bobby Godsell, Dirk Herman (of Solidarity), Ernst Roets (of Afriforum), Xhanti Payi, Mathatha Tsedu, Pieter Duvenage, Hein Willemse, Nico Koopman, Melissa Steyn, Achille Mbembe and Mathews Phosa.
In the past decade, hundreds of thousands of women from poorer countries have braved treacherous journeys to richer countries to work as poorly paid domestic workers. In From servants to workers, Shireen Ally asks whether the low wages and poor working conditions so characteristic of migrant domestic work can truly be resolved by means of the extension of citizenship rights. Following South Africa's 'miraculous' transition to democracy, more than a million poor black women who had endured a despotic organization of paid domestic work under apartheid became the beneficiaries of one of the world's most impressive and extensive efforts to formalize and modernise paid domestic work through state regulation. Ally explores the political implications of paid domestic work as an intimate form of labour. From Servants to workers integrates sociological insights with the often-heartbreaking life histories of female domestic workers in South Africa and provides rich detail of the streets, homes, and churches of Johannesburg where these women work, live, and socialise.
The most significant nonfiction writings of Zoë Wicomb, one of South Africa’s leading authors and intellectuals, are collected here for the first time in a single volume.
This compilation features critical essays on the works of such prominent South African writers as Bessie Head, Nadine Gordimer, Njabulo Ndebele, and J.M. Coetzee, as well as writings on gender politics, race, identity, visual art, sexuality and a wide range of other cultural and political topics. Also included are a reflection on Nelson Mandela and a revealing interview with Wicomb.
In these essays, written between 1990 and 2013, Wicomb offers insight on her nation’s history, policies, and people. In a world in which nationalist rhetoric is on the rise and diversity and pluralism are the declared enemies of right-wing populist movements, her essays speak powerfully to a wide range of international issues.
The End Of Whiteness aims to reveal the pathological, paranoid and bizarre consequences that the looming end of apartheid had on white culture in South Africa, and overall to show that whiteness is a deeply problematic category that needs to be deconstructed and thoughtfully considered.
This book uses contemporary media material to investigate two symptoms of this late apartheid cultural hysteria that appeared throughout the contemporary media and in popular literature during the 1980s and 1990s, showing their relation to white anxieties about social change, the potential loss of privilege and the destabilisation of the country that were imagined to be an inevitable consequence of majority rule.
The ‘Satanic panic’ revolved around the apparent threat posed by a cult of white Satanists that was never proven to exist but was nonetheless repeatedly accused of conspiracy, murder, rape, drug-dealing, cannibalism and bestiality, and blamed for the imminent destruction of white Christian civilisation in South Africa.
During the same period an unusually high number of domestic murder-suicides occurred, with parents killing themselves and their children or other family members by gunshot, fire, poison, gas, even crossbows and drownings. This so-called epidemic of family murder was treated by police, press and social scientists as a plague that specifically affected white Afrikaans families. These double monsters, both fantastic and real, helped to disembowel the clarities of whiteness even as they were born out of threats to it. Deep within its self-regarding modernity and renegotiation of identity, contemporary white South Africa still wears those scars of cultural pathology.
George Bizos is one of a distinguished group of human rights lawyers who in the dark days of apartheid sought to uncover the state's role in eliminating its opponents.
Some, like Biko, Timol and Aggett, were arrested and died in detention, while others, like Matthew Goniwe, were abducted and killed. As counsel for the families of the deceased, George Bizos was centrally involved in many of the inquests following these high-profile deaths.
He is thus well placed to tell the story of the great courtroom dramas in which, with devastating skill, he and his colleagues pared away the tissue of lies protecting the security forces and the state functionaries—only to be rewarded with the invariable finding that there was 'no one to blame'.
Ferial Haffajee is highly respected as one of South Africa's thought leaders and commentators. She effectively uses her media platform to raise and discuss issues pertinent to the state of the nation. In What If There Were No Whites In South Africa?, Haffajee examines our history and our present in the light of a provocative question that yields some thought-provoking analysis for the country.
From roundtable discussions with influential as well as ordinary South Africans, to research, personal thoughts and powerful anecdotes, Haffajee takes the reader through the rocky terrain of race relations in our country and grapples towards a possible way forward in terms of what it means to be South African in 2015.
A Darker Shade Of Pale tells the story of life as a person of mixed race in apartheid South Africa.
After the National Party gained power in South Africa in 1948, the all-white government took control by legislating their policies of racial segregation under a system called apartheid. Forced to live among the sand dunes and narrow streets of Council housing estates, through her mixed ancestry Beryl was classified as Coloured, not white enough or not black enough. This allowed the government to shape her life, where she was allowed to live, to attend school, to sit on the train, to work, and who she could marry.
Growing up in council housing estates on the Cape Flats in the 1960s and early 1970s it wasn’t until reaching high school that she discovered a richer life on the other side of the tracks for those classified as white. The stark reality of the inequality towards her skin colour made her question her ancestry and her parents’ acceptance of their classification. She was drawn to joining rallies to fight the government but at home any such discussions were strongly dismissed.
It is a remarkable story of the resilience of her parents, particularly her mother Sarah who recognised that the future for her children was through education. Sarah, faced with many challenges – the death of a young child, a husband suffering ill-health, five children to feed and to keep a roof over their head powered the way forward to increase their chances of a better life should apartheid crumble.
A Darker Shade Of Pale is a moving account of Beryl’s family and community life in segregated South Africa – the injustices, humiliation and challenges and finally finding acceptance when she moved to Australia in the 1980s.
“Die honde en kinders verstaan Duits, maar ek nie.”
Toe sy vrou werk kry in Duitsland, besluit Deon Maas in ’n oogwink om Berlyn toe te trek. In hierdie intellektueel stimulerende, dekadente stad voel hy hom op sekere maniere dadelik tuis – op ander nie.
In die reis wat alle immigrante meemaak, ontdek hy meer oor homself en sy wortels terwyl hy sy voete in sy nuwe omgewing vind. Hy verwonder hom aan tipies Duitse gewoontes soos dat alle oorsese televisieprogramme (swak) oorgeklank word en dat die Duitsers hul sin vir ordelikheid op alles en almal afdwing.
Op sy avonture ontmoet hy veganistiese anargiste, sokkerboewe, ’n lid van ’n satiriese Duitse politieke party en neem hy selfs aan ’n protesoptog deel.
Maas ontdek dat alles nie perfek werk in die Eerste Węreld nie. Mense daar sukkel om probleme op te los oor alles so streng gereguleer is en hulle weet nie eintlik hoe om die uit-dagings te hanteer wat toenemende immigrasie veroorsaak nie.
Hy probeer ook antwoorde vind op vrae oor verlies, oor identiteit en hoe om as ’n wit immigrant uit Afrika in Europa in te pas. Maas besef al is hy op papier dalk iets van ’n Duitser danksy sy Duitse stamouers, is hy eintlik iemand heeltemal anders. Iemand wat in wese van Afrika is.
This book deals with the harsh realities that the indentured faced from their recruitment in India, their stormy and perilous passage to Natal and their experiences in that Colony.
It breaks completely new ground in that it shows Gandhi in an entirely different light to that portrayed by most historians of the Indians in South Africa. Gandhi came to South Africa at the invitation of a merchant class family. To be fair he had no intention of getting involved in the South African Indian Emancipation struggle but when he finally did so he became the champion of the interests of the rich merchant class.
This book shows that at this stage Gandhi was not interested in the harshly oppressed indentured laborers.
Haabre is a series of portraits of people who represent perhaps the last generation to bear the ritual scarification associated with a number of ethnic groups in various parts of West Africa. These lush images, shot in Choumali’s studio in Abidjan, are accompanied by excerpts of interviews conducted by Choumali with her sitters, which reveal a range of responses to scarification, from pride to ambivalence and even outright rejection of the facial markings. These portraits and texts examine the complex role of tradition in an urban setting such as Abidjan and suggest the shifting nature of the concepts of beauty and identity.
Britain has the highest levels of mixed race relationships in the developed world. Nearly half of all Carribean children in this country have one white parent. In many areas there are more mixed race children in care than any other group. Issues of race lie at the heart of "New Britain" and in this title the author gives an analysis of mixed race issues, supplying a history before going on to analyze dilemmas such as guilt, and the absence of social policy. Her book aims to reflect the complex lives of this growing and increasingly visable population.
Long considered one of the most respected authorities on the history and geography of the Adirondack region, award-winning author and conservationist Barbara McMartin focuses on the uniqueness of the forty-four individual tracts that make up the two-and-one-half-million-acre Forest Preserve within the Adirondack Park.
In The Adirondack Park McMartin has aptly likened the various wild forests, wilderness, recreation and primitive areas to a patchwork quilt, with landscapes connecting to jagged boundaries following rivers and narrow valleys.
Sidebars of "views and visits" give readers an insider's advantage to making the most of any Adirondack expedition. With a storyteller's ease, McMartin provides a brief history and description of each area. She chronicles the preserve's unusual origins, people, politics, and economics that created what is now one of the most important wilderness areas in the eastern United States.
Skillfully combining the results of meticulous research and her life-long passion and advocacy for the Adirondack region, she illuminates the story of how the land parcels were pieced together to become the most sought-after and protected acreage in the east. The book is generously interspersed with maps and vivid geographic descriptions of the forest cover, lakes, mountains, and natural and human history.
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