AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Author Archive

image

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Film Review: “The Good Man” and relegating good intentions to the dustbin

In Chicago literary scholar Lauren Berlant’s formulation, cruel optimism describes an object of desire that is, in her words, “actually an obstacle to your flourishing.” This optimism becomes cruel, she explains, “when the object that draws your attachment actively impedes the aim that brought you to it initially.” One example she gives, drawing upon the

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Why aren’t we discussing Mandela’s Politics?

Now that the first week after Mandela’s death is coming to a close, we’re finally beginning to see more critical obituaries, or at the very least nuanced accounts, and a gradual abandonment of hagiography. Of course, idealistic...

Monday, November 11th, 2013

How about booking a night in this ‘shantytown’?

Where else, but in #SouthAfrica. There are times when even we are speechless. Who comes up with offensive stuff like this? For a price nearly equivalent to the median monthly income of a South African domestic worker,...

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Fok Your Hood

As someone who has lived in the Bay Area in California for over a half decade now, you don’t have to tell me about corny neighborhood renaming schemes spearheaded by property developers. After a year or so...

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The South African Compromise

At this week’s Open Book Festival in Cape Town, one of South Africa’s many literary events, one of the most anticipated non-fiction writers was Adam Habib. A veteran political scientist, erstwhile Trotskyist, and as of recently, vice...

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Township “Living,” White People and the Limits of “Empathy”

If a white family spends a month in a shack, it’s called “brave,” an exercise in “empathy,” and above all, deemed newsworthy enough to gain international coverage. If a black family spends a lifetime in a shack,...

Monday, August 19th, 2013

What are the politics of the briefly banned film “Of Good Report”?

When I was at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) last month, I was perusing the program, and for one reason or another, Jahmil X. T. Qubeka’s feature “Of Good Report” caught my eye. Perhaps I was pleased...

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The New York Times “debates” South Africa’s future

I have no idea why I was thrilled to see a debate on the chief maladies of post-apartheid South Africa on the New York Times’ website. I honestly should’ve known better, but I just get excited whenever the Times covers...