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Cape Town Gangster Films

In both print and film Cape Flats gangsta-chic is all the vogue now, popping up in publications and film festivals worldwide. Much of it makes spurious claims to authenticity and the…..

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Pretty in Pink

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…..

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Jeremy Cronin's Cape Town

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…..

12 minutes read

The Coloureds

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 a local…..

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The Uprising

“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…..

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Skin Deep Politics

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…..

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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…..

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Is Die Antwoord a form of Blackface?

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.

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“The wedding of Deborah Eksteen and Noel Norris, Mangete, KwaZulu-Natal, 2001” from the series “Blood Relatives” by Cedric Nunn, South African photographer.