6090
15 mins read

Struggles over memory in South Africa

Struggles over memory are commonplace in contemporary South Africa. The 1980s are an especially contested. That decade witnessed a mass resurgence of popular struggles that picked up a thread of civil opposition going back to the 1976 Soweto uprising. From outside South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) stepped up its armed struggle and sanctions campaigns; inside the country the United Democratic Front (UDF)—a loose federation of women’s, youth, and civic organizations founded in 1983 in Cape Town as a response to tepid government reforms—coordinated rent, service and consumer boycotts; and a new national trade union federation privileged political struggle. The state responded with more “reforms,” states of emergency, proxy wars, assassinations, and mass detentions. Today legal apartheid is a distant memory for most South Africans.

1445
2 mins read

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…..

1385
3 mins read

The Party is not The Nation

From that same interview that I have been so liberally cutting and pasting from this week—in Comparative Literature–the Communist poet and intellectual, Jeremy Cronin, talks about the conundrum for black…..

1295
1 min read

Pseudo-cosmopolitanism

More from that 2008 Comparative Literature interview with my favorite Communist poet, Jeremy Cronin. Bua Komanisi: … A sense of audience has always been important for me. When I write…..

934
3 mins read

Slipping into individualistic comfort

The daily word of inspiration (cut and pasted from Contemporary Literature) from my favorite, comtemporary Communist, Jeremy Cronin: … At present I am inclined to make my poems much more…..

1 min read

Fascism and Aesthetics

Jeremy Cronin is my favorite Communist. Astute, intellectual and a poet. Cronin is a former political prisoner and now ANC member of Parliament in South Africa. “Even the Dead” is…..

911
1 min read

The poverty of ideas in South Africa

I was forwarded the PR for a new book–edited by William Gumede (author of a recent book on Thabo Mbeki) and Leslie Dikeni (brother of poet Sandile)–on South African intellectual…..

2522
2 mins read

Joe Slovo was a Communist, and my hero

When as a teenager in 1980s Apartheid South Africa I first learned of Joe Slovo, I thought he must be black since most whites at the time did not necessarily side…..