Category Archives: South Africa

No Place Like Home: Xenophobia in South Africa

By Khadija Patel and Azad Essa, photography by Ihsaan Haffejee

http://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2015/xenophobiasouthafrica/index.html

Running small convenience stores in the townships is a dangerous business for foreigners. Often serving their customers through locked gates, they are accused of spreading disease, stealing jobs and sponging off basic government services like electricity, running water and healthcare. But as violence against them continues, the South African government insists that criminality is behind it, not xenophobia.

Click here to explore the full story over at Al Jazeera.

State of the Archives: An Analysis of South Afrca’s National Archival System

SA_archive_distressThis comprehensive report details dysfunction and distress in the state’s record-keeping across a wide variety of sectors, from local government records to historical archives.

This has serious implications for a range of essential processes in South Africa that depend on records, such as land claims, local governance, infrastructure development and corruption prevention. The report also notes the disappearance of important historical documents and a disintegration of many existing archives.

 

Click here to read the full text on The Archival Platform website.

Constitutional Court Trust Oral History Project

Following up on Renfrew Christie’s comment that his signature is on the draft of democratic South Africa’s Constitution, I’d like to call attention to the Constitutional Court Trust Oral History Project.

This important project was carried out by the Historical Papers Research Archive, The Library, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

It aimed to capture the memories and experiences of the people involved in the formative stages of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, to record in comprehensive, reliable and accessible form their memories of how an abstract constitutional ideal was converted into a functioning constitutional organism.

The 86 interviews were conducted between 2011-2012 and submitted by the Constitutional Court Trust in digital format. The transcripts can be accessed through this inventory from where they can be downloaded in PDF format. The audio recordings of the interviews are accessible at the Historical Papers Research Archive in Mp3 format.

For full inventory and links to PDF transcripts click here.

Is South African uranium the biggest threat to world peace?

South Africa’s nuclear munificence is stockpiled in the Pelindaba Nuclear Research Centre, just west of Pretoria. Within a secure vault smoulders almost a quarter of a tonne of highly enriched uranium, enough to make about ten cities go boom. Using diplomacy by other means—AKA an expose by an outfit called the Centre of Public Integrity, published in the Washington Post—the Americans have announced that they believe Pelindaba to be one of the world’s great security threats. How afraid should we be? RICHARD POPLAK dons a nuclear protection radiation suit and wades in.

Click here to read full text in the Daily Maverick

 

Heritage Virgins Come of Age

BY MONDLI MAKHANYA

We set out to celebrate, commemorate and mark key news figures and moments, writes Sunday Times editor MONDLI MAKHANYA, but it was only a billion meetings later that we realised how much these memorials meant to how many people.

Earlier this year a colleague and I headed down to the Eastern Cape for a “summit” with stakeholders in our Eastern Cape heritage project. These included family members, community representatives, government officials and church elders. We spent half a day in a meeting that definitely ranks as one of my most memorable experiences of 2007.

Click here to read on.

Re-Placing the Past – Opinions – Archival Platform

Re-Placing the Past

Every time I return to Berlin I am struck by the dynamics of heritage formation that have played out there in comparison to those at play in South Africa. 20 years into the democratic dispensation in South Africa, and with this week marking 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down, I would like to think about what kind of comparisons we can draw. Specifically, I want to briefly reflect on the work of two important German artists to think about urban, conceptually driven heritage practise in South Africa.

 

Duane Jethro, is a PhD student in social and cultural anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and an Archival Platform correspondent

Re-Placing the Past – Opinions – Archival Platform.

African Rock Art Digital Archive

By Liz Timbs

Last summer, I got the chance to visit the Origins Museum on the University of the Witswatersrand campus in Johannesburg.  A major feature of the Museum’s collection is an installation of San rock art.  As the Rock Art Research Institute’s website attests, rock art is a key medium through which to understand our collective pasts (pasts which evade the written word).

Full text here.

Xolela Mangcu, “Biko: A Life” (Tauris, 2013)

[From “New Books in African Studies”] Host Jonathan Judaken speaks with Xolela Mangcu, biographer of Anti-Apartheid leader Steve Biko, about the life and murder of Steve Biko, as well as the struggle for equality in South Africa under Apartheid rule, and how it relates to the Civil Rights Movement in America. – – – – Click Here for full podcast.

 

Xolela Mangcu, “Biko: A Life” (Tauris, 2013).

Episode 88: Digital African Studies with Keith Breckenridge

biometric_stateKeith Breckenridge (WISER) on the current state of digital Southern African Studies; the politics, funding, and ethics of international partnerships in digital projects; and his new book Biometric State: The Global Politics of Identification and Surveillance in South Africa, 1850 to the Present.

Part I of a series on digital African studies.

 

Source: Episode 88: Digital African Studies with Keith Breckenridge