LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.
“Navigating your way in a world filled with untruths”: Frederik van Zyl Slabbert lecture 2019Opinion 2019-09-18
"Each generation is burdened with, and caught up in, global currents that have a direct bearing on notions of freedom and liberation in their lifetime. Across the world, authoritarian and populist regimes are on the rise – the business of 'organised lying' has become part of the global news cycle."
"Not wanted on the voyage": a talk at the Midlands Literary Festival, 2019Opinion 2019-09-18
"I chose this title, because it seems that many of us, rightly or wrongly, are feeling that way right now, in this authoritarian, power-hungry and exclusionary moment in which we find ourselves – not just in South Africa, but worldwide: that our particular brand or style or voice or presence or set of values is, for one reason or another, 'not wanted on the voyage'."
Multilingual schools, multilingual universities: an interview with Russell Kaschula and Michael KretzerEnglish 2019-09-12
"[T]he involvement and inclusion of many African languages through code-switching, or translanguaging, helps the pupils to learn from each other, and be aware of different cultures and languages, and understand why certain pupils think and learn in certain ways."
Towards the fullness of the Afrikaans languageDie Afrikaanse Taalraad-portaal 2019-08-28
"Afrikaans was forged in the mouths of all those who lived at the Cape and beyond. It is in this Creole that we hear the remnants of the slaves’ foreign tongues, and the traces of their experiences."
Behind the Fifth WallMusiek 2019-06-27
"To compare this scenario, where songs were routinely banned, musicians harassed and/or locked up, and parties and gigs teargassed, with the rock scene of today is like comparing porcupines with export grapes. It’s not only impossible; it’s simply not useful."
James Matthews: a revolutionary poet @ 90Books and writers 2019-05-30
"Indeed, it is hard to think of South African political poetry without the name of James Matthews. He was firmly identified with local expressions of Black Consciousness in the early 1970s, and his poetry shaped our generation’s understanding of the injustices, brutality and inhumanity that apartheid visited upon our communities across the country."
200 years ago – The Battle of Grahamstown and the name change to MakhandaOpinion 2019-05-29
"Or, is it a bitter sop to the reality of the all-powerful English language and the foundations of Grahamstown’s university and elite schools, its historic churches and much more, rooted in the culture of the British Settlers and their descendants – not to mention the roadside name boards identifying ownership of the numerous prosperous farms in the region once known as the Albany – the Zuurveld?"
25 years later: Karabo Kgoleng reflectsMenings 2019-05-07
It has been 25 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa. With the 2019 elections around the corner, Karabo Kgoleng shares her memories from 27 April 1994.
25 years later: Christi van der Westhuizen reflectsMenings 2019-05-07
It has been 25 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa. With the 2019 elections around the corner, Christi van der Westhuizen shares her memories from 27 April 1994.
In the shadow of Brahms – Robert Fuchs and his First Piano TrioOpinion 2019-04-30
"This article deals with the relatively little-known composer Robert Fuchs, who used developing variation – a composition technique associated predominantly with Johannes Brahms – in his First Piano Trio."
Some remarks about Handré Brand’s remarks about The man who killed apartheidOpinion 2019-04-26
"The main question is Tsafendas’s motive, and the fact that, for more than 50 years, people believed that Tsafendas killed Verwoerd because of a tapeworm, and that he was an apolitical idiot."
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 ..."