In 2009 the British photographer Araminta de Clermont made a set of portraits of high school seniors (locally known as matrics) in their prom night garb (locally known as matric balls). The subjects were all from the Cape Flats, that expanse of mostly working class and poor ghettos in Cape Town. The photographs were published in UK […]
By now Contemporary Literature has probably forced me to take down the series of Jeremy Cronin blog posts (more like cut and pasted from a long interview with my favorite Communist), so read quickly. This excerpt, the last, is Cronin on identity politics, race and Cape Town: … My home city, Cape Town, is unique […]
We sent 5 Questions to South African comic artists Nathan and Andre Trantraal. Born in the Western Cape, The Trantraal Brothers are known for their weekly cartoon in the local newspaper. The questions were sent out to both brothers. Nathan got back to us saying “the answers are mine and although we share most of […]
“The Uprising of Hangberg” is filmmaking at its incendiary best. Part agitprop piece, testimonies, campaign document, and popular history, the film recounts the violent events of September 2010 when municipal police on the orders of the Cape Town’s Democratic Alliance (DA)-run council invaded the favela on the edge of the Hangberg mountain in Houtbay, outside Cape […]
I finally had a chance to read Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s profile of Jacob Zuma that appeared in “The New Yorker” on the eve of the World Cup final. You need a password to read the piece. But don’t bother. It’s very elementary stuff for junkies of South African politics. Written in a dry tone, it rehashes […]
Striking series (via Herman Wasserman) of “… painted portraits of some of the prominent captains and leaders of the Griquas, the Orlam groups such as the Afrikaners, and other so-called bastard and Nama groups of the 18th and 19th century,” by of the artist Cobus van Bosch. (Under Apartheid, the bulk of the descendants of […]
First world hipster bloggers and music websites (with foreign correspondents’ not far behind) are besides themselves about South African performers, Die Antwoord. Linking to them. Talking about their style. Good for them and Die Antwoord. But even boosters for the Die Antwoord, like Richard Poplak,have to concede this: “… what their lyrics mean — or what they stand for precisely — no one in Brooklyn or Paris or São Paulo can say.” Which is why I like this piece of of writing, below, by Cape Town writer Rustum Kozain, about Die Antwoord’s music and style. While I wouldn’t say that what Die Antwoord does is necessarily blackface, I think some of its problematic aspects need to be discussed.
I’ve only heard good things about the feature film “Shirley Adams” directed by the young Oliver Hermanus–he’s from Cape Town, that should count for something; studied at the London Film School. I haven’t seen it yet. The film’s plot definitely resonates with me: “… It tells the story of a coloured mother in Mitchell’s Plain […]