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Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

Devan Pillay Debates Creative Industries: The Market Will Determine Content of Cultural Expression

New South African Review 4Devan Pillay, co-editor of New South African Review 4, formed part of a panel debating the role of creative industries, asking “whether they are drivers of development or should rather be seen as the co-option of the arts by the market economy”.

Pillay was in discussion with Department of Arts and Culture’s Monica Newton, taking a view very different from hers. He argued that “the market will determine the content of cultural expression”, responding to national arts policy developments.

Read The African Arts Institute’s report on the debate:

Devan Pillay, Associate Professor at the Sociology Department at WITS took a very different stance, and strongly affirmed the latter part of the debate question. He introduced the Gramscian idea of hegemony, arguing that even in this advanced stage of global capitalism, an ideological battle wages on, as both market and state combine forces in a neoliberal direction. The life of the arts and freedom of expression is thus at stake, as the market will determine the content of cultural expression and non-commoditized environments of practice become almost impossible to attain. The state policy that Newton was making a case for was likened by Pillay to the ‘art of paradigm maintenance’, in this way an instrument of hegemony.

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Gabeba Baderoon to Deliver Lecture on Slavery, Race and Gender at Villanova University, Pennsylvania

Regarding Muslims: From slavery to post-apartheidGabeba Baderoon, the author of Regarding Muslims: From slavery to post-apartheid will be delivering a lecture entitled “Muslims, Slavery and the Making of Race and Sex in South Africa” at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

The event is sponsored by the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and the Center for Arab & Islamic Studies.

The lecture is being given in the St David’s Room at Villanova University on Thursday, 30 October, from 4 to 5:30 PM.

Catch it if you can!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 30 October 2014
  • Time: 4 PM to 5:30 PM
  • Venue: Villanova University
    St David’s Room
    Connelly Center
    Villanova University Main Campus | Map

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Vishwas Satgar: “Agricultural Produce and Consumption Should be Controlled by Workers”

The Solidarity Economy AlternativeThe 23rd African Union (AU) Summit took place in June this year in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The theme of this year’s summit was “Agriculture and Food Security” and various stakeholders came together to discuss ways to combat challenges such as youth unemployment through a robust agricultural sector across the continent.

Anna Xoyane writes about the arguments that emerged during the summit and the propositions that were made. Xoyane refers to University of the Witwatersrand senior lecturer Vishwas Satgar, who argues that a solidarity economy is a more viable alternative within an African development context than neoliberal capitalism in his book, The Solidarity Economy Alternative: Emerging Theory and Practice. The solidarity economy is based on the priciples of Ubuntu where people come together as a collective to work the lands, and share the profits.

Read the article:

On the other hand, in his book The Solidarity Economy Alternative, Vishwas Satgar argues that the current global financial crisis is the result of the neoliberal capitalism. He indicates that solidarity economy is essential as it provides for human basic needs and challenges capitalism; it ensures a transformative and human capacitated society. Satgar argues that agricultural produce and consumption should be controlled by workers and society through cooperatives, giving this a term “food sovereignty”, to increase sustainable inclusive economic growth and development.

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Adam Habib: Suid-Afrikaanse universiteite lewer nie genoeg doktorsgrade nie

Rewolusie op ysSipho Masondo het met akademici gesels oor die aantal PhD-grade wat by Suid-Afrikaanse universiteite behaal word en onder meer aangeklop by Adam Habib, visekanselier van die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand en outeur van Rewolusie op ys: Suid-Afrika se vooruitsigte.

In verwysing na die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan (NOP) se voorgestelde 5 000 PhD’s teen 2030 sê Habib: “Om die NOP-teikens te bereik sal universiteite die wyse waarop dinge gedoen word fundamenteel moet verander.”

Lees die artikel vir meer oor die statistieke rondom PhD’s in Suid-Afrika:

In ’n studie in 2010 deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie van Wetenskap (Asaf) is bevind die getal PhD-grade wat die afgelope 20 jaar elke jaar toegestaan is, het tog skerp gestyg. In 1996 het plaaslike universiteite 685 doktorsgrade toegestaan. Teen 2010 was dit 1 421. Maar Suid-Afrika is steeds ver agter ’n land soos Brasilië, waar net die Universiteit van São Paulo in 2010 2 244 PhD’s opgelewer het.

Habib sê die toename wat Suid-Afrika oor twee dekades getoon het, was steeds “skreiend onvoldoende” vir ’n 21ste-eeuse, kennis-gebaseerde ekonomie.

Die akademie se verslag het onthul dat Suid-Afrika tussen 23 en 27 PhD-grade per miljoen mense per jaar oplewer teenoor Brasilië se 52 s’n.


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Images from Gallery MOMO’s Recent Dumile Feni Exhibition

Dumile Feni RetrospectiveGallery MOMO have shared some images from the recent exhibition of Dumile Feni’s work.

The exhibition, entitled “Works on Paper & Sculpture”, featured a number of Feni’s distinctive artworks, as well as portraits of the artist.

View the images:


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Place and Identity Scrutinised in Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after Apartheid

Changing Space, Changing CityWits University Press presents Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after Apartheid, edited by Philip Harrison, Graeme Gotz, Alison Todes and Chris Wray:

As the dynamo of South Africa’s economy, Johannesburg commands a central position in the nation’s imagination, and scholars throughout the world monitor the city as an exemplar of urbanity in the global South.

This richly illustrated study offers detailed empirical analyses of changes in the city’s physical space, as well as a host of chapters on the character of specific neighbourhoods and the social identities being forged within them. Informing all of these is a consideration of underlying economic, social and political processes shaping the wider Gauteng region.

A mix of respected academics, practising urban planners and experienced policymakers offer compelling overviews of the rapid and complex spatial developments that have taken place in Johannesburg since the end of apartheid, along with tantalising glimpses into life on the streets and behind the high walls of this diverse city.

The book has three sections. Section A provides an overview of macro spatial trends and the policies that have influenced them. Section B explores the shaping of the city at district and suburban level, revealing the peculiarity of processes in different areas. This analysis elucidates the larger trends, while identifying shifts that are not easily detected at the macro level. Section C is an assembly of chapters and short vignettes that focus on the interweaving of place and identity at a micro level.

With empirical data supported by new data sets including the 2011 Census, the city’s Development Planning and Urban Management Department’s information system, and Gauteng City-Region Observatory’s substantial archive, the book is an essential reference for planning practitioners, urban geographers, sociologists, and social anthropologists, among others.

Frequently used acronyms
1 Introduction Philip Harrison, Graeme Gotz, Alison Todes and Chris Wray

SECTION A: The macro-trends
2 The ‘thin oil of urbanisation’? Spatial change in the city region Graeme Gotz, Chris Wray and Brian Mubiwa
3 Poverty and inequality in the Gauteng city-region David Everatt
4 The impact of policy and strategic spatial planning Alison Todes
5 Tracking and understanding changes in the urban built environment: An emerging perspective from the City of Johannesburg Peter Ahmad and Herman Pienaar
6 Johannesburg’s urban-space economy Graeme Gotz and Alison Todes
7 Changes in the natural landscape Maryna Storie
8 Informal settlements Marie Huchzermeyer, Aly Karam and Miriam Maina
9 Public housing in Johannesburg Sarah Charlton
10 Transport in the shaping of space Mathetha Mokonyama and Brian Mubiwa
11 Gated communities and spatial transformation in greater Johannesburg Karina Landman and Willem Badenhorst

SECTION B: Area-based transformations
12 Between fixity and flux: Transience and permanence in the inner city Yasmeen Dinath
13 Are Johannesburg’s peri-central neighbourhoods irremediably ‘fluid’? Local leadership and community building in Yeoville and Bertrams Claire Benit-Gbaffou
14 The wrong side of the mining belt? Spatial transformations and identities in Johannesburg’s southern suburbs Philip Harrison and Tanya Zack
15 Soweto: A study in socio-spatial differentiation Philip Harrison and Kirsten Harrison
16 Kliptown: Resilience and despair in the face of a hundred years of planning Hilton Judin, Naomi Roux and Tanya Zack
17 Alexandra Philip Harrison, Adrian Masson and Luke Sinwell
18 Sandton Central, 1969–2011: From open veld to Johannesburg’s new CBD Keith Beavon and Pauline Larsen
19 In the forest of transformation: Johannesburg’s northern suburbs Alan Mabin
20 Johannesburg’s north-western edge Neil Klug, Margot Rubin and Alison Todes
21 The legacy of the 2010 World Cup: Perceptions of residents in the Ellis Park precinct Aly Karam and Margot Rubin
22 Transformation through transportation: Some early impacts of the bus rapid-transit system in Orlando, Soweto Christo Venter and Eunice Vaz

SECTION C: Spatial identities
23 The footprints of Islam Yasmeen Dinath, Yusuf Patel and Rashid Seedat
24 Being an immigrant and facing uncertainty in South Africa: The case of Somalis Samadia Sadouni
25 On ‘spaces of hope’: Exploring Hillbrow’s discursive credoscapes Tanja Winkler
26 The Central Methodist Church Christa Kuljian
27 The Ethiopian Quarter Hannah le Roux
28 Yeoville: An urban collage Naomi Roux
29 Phantoms of the past, spectres of the present: Chinese spaces in Johannesburg Philip Harrison, Khangelani Moyo and Yan Yang
30 Hillbrow Caroline Kihato
31 Legal and illegal inner-city street traders: Legality and spatial practice Puleng Makhetha and Margot Rubin
32 Waste pickers/ informal recyclers Sarah Charlton
33 The fear of others: Responses to crime and urban
transformation in Johannesburg Teresa Dirsuweit
34 Black urban, black research: Why understanding space and identity still matters in South Africa Nqobile Malaza

About the contributors

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Michael Chapman Responds to JM Coetzee’s Foreword to Academic Freedom by John Higgins

Academic Freedom in a Democratic South AfricaMichael Chapman, emeritus professor and fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, has written a paper for Critical Arts about John Higgins’ new book Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa.

Chapman says Academic Freedom “lucidly considers the scope of the challenge” posed by Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor at the conference On Being Controversial: The Humanities Reach Out, organised by the Academy of Science of South Africa this year: “What is the language that the humanities have to offer policy-makers?”

In response to JM Coetzee’s foreword to the book, in which he writes: “Few academics appreciated, from the beginning, the scale of the attack that was being launched on their independence or the ideological passion that drove it”, and suggests that the ANC’s indifference to academic freedom “may simply come out of a defensive reluctance to sanction sites of power over which it has no control”, Chapman asks: “But is this not too sanguine?”

To turn to Pandor, we hear some disdain for the phrase “speaking truth to power”. She is somewhat impatient with critique, critique, critique: “What is the language that the humanities have to offer to policy-makers to contribute to the government’s vision of a prosperous, non-racial nation?”

Pandor’s invocation of vision is instructive. Instrumentalisation, bureaucratisation or utilitarianism in South Africa have long operated in tandem with grand, often delusional visions: Rhodes’s Cape to Cairo; Milner’s Anglicisation, apartheid or (to use Verwoerd-speak) separate development, now the overlapping hankering after a socialist utopia and capitalist productivity or, in shorthand, a national democratic revolution.

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Discover the North-West Province with Land, Chiefs, Mining by Andrew Manson and Bernard Mbenga

Land, Chiefs, MiningLand, Chiefs, Mining: South Africa’s North-West Province Since 1840 by Andrew Manson and Bernard Mbenga was released last month and provides ample information about the history of the North-West Province.

Manson and Mbenga are professors at the North-West University Mafikeng Campus in the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences. Land, Chiefs, Mining contains research on the thornveld and bushveld regions of the North-West. Both authors have conducted extensive research on this region and the Batswana people who live there.

Press release

The exciting new book by two of the NWU Mafikeng Campus professors, Land, Chiefs, Mining: African Societies in North-West Province 1840-2013, takes readers on a journey through the history of the North-West province.

Authors Andrew Manson and Bernard Mbenga explore the experience of the Batswana in the thornveld and bushveld regions of the province.

The seven chapters focus on the following: the important Tswana chief Moila II of the Bahurutshe; the South African War and its aftermath; land acquisition; economic and political conditions in the reserves; rural resistance against Lucas Mangope’s Bophuthatswana; the liberation struggle; and the modernisation of the region with platinum mining, national parks and casinos.

The book is richly illustrated with photos and maps. It also opens up avenues for further research.

Both Manson and Mbenga have been studying and writing on the region’s past. They are also co-authors of People of the Dew: A history of the Bafokeng of the Pilanesberg Region, South Africa, from early times to 2000.

Land, Chiefs, Mining: African Societies in North-West Province 1840-2013 is available from Wits University Press publication. It can be ordered online or you can phone Corina van der Spoel at 011 717 8705 to order copies. The official launch was on 30 September 2014 at Wits University.


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Call to Radical Geographers: Antipode’s 5th Institute for the Geographies of Justice

New South African Review 4New South African Review 3Prishani Naidoo, co-editor of New South African Review 4 and New South African Review 3, is one of the conveners of the Antipode’s 5th Institute for the Geographies of Justice (IGJ).

The conveners have issued a call for applications from new researchers who want to participate. There will be room for about 25 participants.

The event will take place in Johannesburg from 21 to 27 June 2015. The deadline for applications is 31 January.

Read about the IGJ:

The 2015 IGJ poses the question ‘how do we occupy radical geography today?’. We pose ‘occupation’ as a meta-theme or framework for praxis as we organize engagements across a wide array of debates and concerns inside/outside radical geography. We pose the question to ask how we might occupy and transform radical geography as an occupation, vocation or critical stance.

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Piero Gleijeses on Why the US Should Have Asked for Angola’s Forgiveness, from Visions of Freedom

Visions of FreedomThe New York Times eXaminer has shared an excerpt from Visions of Freedom: Havanna, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa 1976-1991 by Piero Gleijeses.

Stephen Roblin wrote an introduction to the excerpt. The excerpted chapter is a reflection on a meeting between George W. Bush and José Eduardo dos Santos in 2002. He says that the American president’s attitude towards his towards his Angolan counterpart was not what it ought to have been, given the countries’ entwined histories. Bush was paternalistic, but he should have been asking for forgiveness for supporting South Africa and playing a role in the civil war that ravaged Angola for more than two decades.

Roblin says that it is important that we take note of this piece of history.

Read the excerpt:

In the United States, the same Congress that was imposing sanctions on South Africa against Reagan’s wishes had embraced UNITA, Pretoria’s protégé. On June 11, 1985, the Senate had repealed the Clark Amendment, which had prohibited covert operations in Angola for almost a decade, by a sixty-three to thirty-four vote, and the House had followed suit on July 10. The repeal would become effective on October 1, 1985, with the beginning of the new fiscal year.

In seeking repeal, the administration and its supporters had argued, disingenuously, that they were not necessarily thinking of helping Savimbi, but wanted to eliminate a cumbersome restraint on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

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