LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.
UNISA's Breyten Seminar: "in the calyx of your thoughts" – topological deformation in a few texts and paintings by Breyten BreytenbachSeminare en essays 2019-04-18
"This is an example of what I call the eighth petal of the sacred lotus in Breytenbach’s work. It indicates the ways in which Breytenbach plays with and stretches language and cognitive frameworks."
Revisiting the end of the world: an interview on language identity and displacementOnderhoude 2019-04-17
"Humans have participated in mass migrations since the earliest dawn of human society. ... Understanding how the Patagonian Afrikaans community has negotiated their identity and their relation to place is, therefore, a very current topic, and can be of value to the understanding of current migrant communities."
A letter from Emily Hobhouse to Mr Rees-MoggOpinion 2019-02-26
"I implore you to change and listen to your conscience, as a fellow English patriot. To be brave. To admit the truth about this atrocity. For the sake of history."
The rise and fall of Mmusi MaimaneOpinion 2019-01-31
"Over recent years, the DA has attracted South Africans of different backgrounds with diverse ideological views. Maimane is under enormous pressure to keep these different interest groups with different backgrounds happy in the party."
Zimbabwe: another false dawnOpinion 2019-01-24
"Zimbabweans have now woken up to the fact that they were once again sold a dummy, and that 18 November 2017, like 18 April 1980 when Zimbabwe attained its independence from Britain, was another false dawn."
The art of prayer (in Zimbabwe)Opinion 2019-01-22
"The day after #ShutDownZimbabwe, the weight of the Big Fear still heavy and tangible on our tongues, and the twisted compass of the Big Confusion whirling bigger and bigger storms in brains and bodies and hearts alike – on this day, at a time that still saw the sun climbing towards his throne at the top of the sky, in the immigration office in Harare, the genial officer at the front desk smiled and laughed with two women waiting for assistance."
Open letter to President Ramaphosa: support the true arts in this countryOpinion 2019-01-04
"To use arts and culture money to record the favourite struggle songs of Jacob Zuma is a slap in the face of every artist and writer in this country."
Intercontinental entanglements: slavery, Dutch colonialism and post-colonial identificationsMenings 2018-12-20
"The questions that need to be asked, are: 'whose history is under discussion here?' and who is the 'us' 'who call themselves the Dutch'?"
In memoriam: Justin CartwrightOpinion 2018-12-18
"That was Cartwright's gift. A vein of laconic comedy runs through almost all his work which draws on his preoccupations with movies, advertising, American oddities as well as British pretensions and to which he gave exuberant rein in novels like Look at it This Way ..."
Video: Keynote and public lecture by Achille MbembeMenings 2018-12-14
Internationally acclaimed Achille Mbembe was a keynote speaker at the international conference Recognition, Reparation and Reconciliation: The light and shadow of historical trauma.
Video: Keynote lecture by Homi Bhabha – A memory of neighbours: On history and the afterlifeMenings 2018-12-14
"Internationally acclaimed Homi K Bhabha was the keynote speaker at the international conference Recognition, Reparation and Reconciliation: The light and shadow of historical trauma."
Afrikaans is a major African asset – Dele Olojede
The more we eliminate this diversity, the lesser we become, says Africa’s first Pulitzer Prize winner
What does Afrikaans mean in the context of Africa? And what can an institution such as Stellenbosch University gain, should it make work of ensuring there is no lesser place for it? Willem de Vries spoke to Dele Olojede, who has become a supporter of the campaign, Gelyke Kanse (Equal Opportunities).
Jakes Gerwel Memorial lecture: Imagining a post-apartheid futureMenings 2018-11-14
"To realise our dream of a truly free, fair and equal society, we have to take action. And I think that at the heart of any action we take, we have to 'invest' in young people. They are the future, here and in the rest of Africa."
(How) can decoloniality inform "educational (curriculum) knowledge" selection?Universiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2018-11-01
"The call for decolonising education is thus nothing less than the full incorporation of all of humanity’s knowledge systems, past and present, and in anticipation of future knowledge constellations, into the knowledge selection systems of universities."
In response to Marlene van Niekerk’s poem, “Fallist art”Opinion 2018-08-15
"Words hurt, and Bongani Mayosi paid the ultimate price for this kind of hurt. Let us be critical, by all means, but let us give more thought to how our words might affect one another."
Press release: Women’s Day and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous PeopleOpinion 2018-08-08
Iziko Museums of South Africa and the Supusupu Khoe Language Project will commemorate Women’s Day, as well as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, on 9 August 2018.
The changing global higher education landscape: an interviewUniversiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2018-07-26
"As much as commentators like to argue that many education systems around the world have become more 'anglicised' or 'Americanised', it is important to remember that local actors – and here, I am referring to students – are not passive. Students today are more plugged into the news of the world, and demand that their professors explain the relevance of what is happening 'there', to 'here'."
Personal reflections on the 16th Nelson Mandela Lecture, delivered by Barack ObamaOpinion 2018-07-19
"I sat hundreds of metres away from Obama, but I wasn’t moved the way Pieter W Grobbelaar’s books moved me as a child. I wasn’t moved the way I was when my nanny told me about Tselane and the Giant."
Hermann Giliomee speaks about his latest book, Die AfrikanersBooks and writers 2018-07-04
"There was a hard-hitting question about the future of Afrikaans."
The decision to declare English as the only language of record in court in South Africa: a reactionSeminare en essays 2018-07-03
"The question inevitably arises whether the obligation to convert all legal communication to English would have any influence on the ability of many citizens to express themselves efficiently and understand the language of the court (particularly as regards vocabulary), given the fact that English is arguably the third or fourth language of the majority of the population."