A recent briefing, given by the National Defence Force intelligence division to the visiting Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan, painted a sombre picture of Nigeria’s battle with Boko Haram.
Despite the “hardline” strategy put into place by the country’s state, the South African intelligence assessment, which was obtained by AFP, predicts a “prolonged” conflict.
In Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa: Concepts, Role-players, Policy and Practice, editors Theo Neethling and Heidi Hudson outline the “Afrocentric” approach they believe is necessary to tackle conflict on the continent.
The government in Abuja faces a “prolonged armed insurgency” with little prospect for resolution, the briefing said, adding that the “security situation in Nigeria is expected to deteriorate”.
“Prospects for conflict resolution are likely to remain bleak – government persists [in a] hardline counter-insurgency response to the crisis that has degenerated into human rights abuses by the state and militants alike.”
Nobel literature laureate Nadine Gordimer passed away at the age of 90 in her family home on Sunday, reports the Mail & Guardian. She wrote 15 novels as well as several works of non-fiction, short stories and other works and has been published in 40 different languages.
In 2012 Denise Brahimi, an academic working in France and Algeria, was in South Africa to launch Nadine Gordimer: Weaving Together Fiction, Women and Politics, which was translated by Vanessa Everson and Cara Shapiro. Brahimi’s critique of Gordimer’s works shares insight into the way in which Gordimer’s works reflected a changing South Africa.
“Brahimi shows us how Gordimer moves between the external socio-political context and the private world of her characters; thus, she distils the essence of Gordimer’s writing as the existence of opposing forces – man vs woman, black vs white,” Everson said at the launch.
Read Gordimer’s obituary:
Nadine Gordimer has died peacefully in her sleep, her family said in a statement on Tuesday.
“She was 90 years old, will be lovingly remembered by her family, friends and literary colleagues,” the statement said. “Her son Hugo and daughter Oriane, and her caring helpers were with her.
Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe recently introduced a new permit for farmers that enables them to access agricultural funding.
Following reports that some Zimbabwean ministers and chiefs were leasing their farms to white farmers or under-utilising land, Mugabe warned that action would be taken against those breaching regulations.
Mugabe was speaking at the launch of the A1 permit, which confirms the ownership of newly resettled farmers.
Mugabe said this as he opened a new chapter in the country’s controversial land reform programme where he said there was no land for whites in Zimbabwe. Mugabe on Wednesday launched A1 settlement permits, which ensure that farmers have security of tenure.
The permits allow new farmers to access agricultural funding from financial institutions.
Lesotho’s highest court recently upheld the Chieftainship Act, which denies daughters the right to succeed to chieftainship.
The case, Masupha v The Senior Resident Magistrate for the Subordinate Court of Berea and Others, had previously been upheld by the country’s Constitutional Court, and was under appeal at the Court of Appeal. It involves Senate Masupha, the first-born child of a chief, who was seeking to succeed to a chieftainship that was contested solely between her uncle and half-brother.
Stefanie Röhrs and Dee Smythe’s recently published book, In Search of Equality: Women, Law and Society in South Africa, looks at these types of legal issues experienced by South African women.
“This is a dark day for women in Lesotho. Through its judgment, the Court of Appeal has re-affirmed that women remain second-class citizens in Lesotho,” said Priti Patel, Deputy Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which intervened as a friend of the court (amicus curiae) in the matter. “In recent years, Lesotho had made significant strides towards eradicating gender discrimination, by ending male marital power among other things. But this ruling sends a clear signal that it is still permissible to discriminate against women solely because they are women.”
Rob Brooks, evolutionary biologist and author of Sex, Genes and Rock ‘n Roll: How evolution has shaped the modern world, performed an experiment to prove that “the hipster beard” is a passing fad.
Brooks believes a phenomenon called “negative frequency dependence” may be the reason for changing fashions in facial hair. NFD suggests that rare traits are more attractive to the opposite sex, because of evolutionary genetics.
Brooks set up an experiment to test this theory, featuring photographs of men with four stages of facial hair: clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble a full beard. The results are fascinating:
We then analysed how subjects rated the same – last – 12 pictures comprising three from each beard level. In line with our prediction, when clean-shaven faces were rare (among the early 24 pictures) they enjoyed a significant premium in attractiveness ratings (in the last 12) over when they were common. And when full beards were rare or when the four levels of beardedness were evenly distributed, full beards enjoyed significantly higher attractiveness than when full beards were common. Five- and 10-day stubble did not really vary in attractiveness across the three treatments.
UCT Press, Juta Law and The Book Lounge cordially invite you to the launch of In Search of Equality: Women, Law and Society in South Africa edited by Stefanie Röhrs and Dee Smythe and Marriage, Land and Custom by Aninka Claassens and Smythe.
Smythe and Claassens will be in conversation with Nomboniso Gasa on Thursday 31 July at 5:30 PM for 6 PM.
Don’t miss it!
A government investigation has been touted after the controversial eviction of residents of Lwandle in early June.
849 homes in Lwandle, a piece of land next to the N2 near Strand in the Western Cape, were forcibly removed by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
Noëleen Murray and Leslie Witz’s new book Hostels, Homes, Museum: Memorialising migrant labour pasts in Lwandle, South Africa looks at the history of the area as well as the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum.
News24 examines why the people were evicted, whether it was legal, and who is to blame:
Why were they evicted?
The land they were squatting on is private land, owned by Sanral. People have been squatting on this patch of land next to the N2 highway, near Somerset West, for years. But the land falls within a road reserve that Sanral needs for an e-tolling project, which is due to begin in six months.
According to Helen Zille, the DA leader and Western Cape premier, the City of Cape Town has “regularly” warned Sanral to stop unlawful settlement on its land, but “to no avail”.
- Hostels, Homes, Museum: Memorialising migrant labour pasts in Lwandle, South Africa by Noëleen Murray, Leslie Witz
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New from UCT Press, The Courage of ||kabbo: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Specimens of Bushman Folklore edited by Janette Deacon and Pippa Skotnes:
The year 2011 marked the centenary of the publication of Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd’s publication, Specimens of Bushman Folklore, a unique and globally important record of the language and poetry of the now-extinct language of the |xam Bushmen. This edited volume celebrates this anniversary. It is named after ||Kabbo, a prisoner released from the Breakwater Convict Station in the 1870s, who remained in Cape Town far from home and family and sacrificed the freedom of his final years to teach Bleek and Lloyd his language and make his stories known by way of books. The stories in the Bleek and Lloyd archive are now all that remains of the world view of the |xam.
Chapters by a range of experts from a wide array of disciplines comment on the past and present treatment of Bushmen and attempts to keep their culture alive. They deal with issues of archival research and publication, with the difficulties of understanding oral literature through writing and with the active curation of archives. And they explore the world view of different groups of Bushmen through rock art, the paintings done for Bleek and Lloyd, their poetry and their language.
Introduction – Pippa Skotnes, Janette Deacon (UCT and Rock Art Research Institute, Wits University)
Chapter 1: From landscape to literature: Specimens in images – Pippa Skotnes (University of Cape Town)
Chapter 2: The life of the Louis Fourie Archive of Khoisan Ethnologica – Carolyn Hamilton, Ann Wanless (UCT)
Chapter 3: Louis Anthing (1829-1902) – José Manuel de Prada Samper (UCT)
Chapter 4: The methodological basis of Wilhelm Bleek’s Reynard the Fox in South Africa (1864): a precursor to the Specimens – Andrew Lamprecht (UCT)
Chapter 5: The story of ││Kabbo and Reynard the Fox: notes on cultural and textual history – Hermann Wittenberg (University of the Western Cape)
Chapter 6: The foundation of African studies: Wilhelm Bleek’s African linguistics and the first ethnographers of southern Africa – Robert Thornton (University of the Witwatersrand)
Chapter 7: Gathering wisdom: reassembling Wilhelm Bleek’s library – Tanya Barben (UCT)
Chapter 8: The Bleek and Lloyd collection and rock art research – JD Lewis-Williams (Rock Art Research Institute, Wits University)
Chapter 9: Colonial adventurer, loyal follower or problematic afterthought? Revisiting the life and scholarship of Dorothea Bleek – Jill Weintroub (UCT)
Chapter 10: Lucy Lloyd’s !Xuun notebooks: Towards an edition and linguistic analysis – Florian Lionnet (Berkeley University)
Chapter 11: Images of loss and abundance: reading paintings and drawings from the !kun children’s material in the Bleek and Lloyd Collection (1879-1881) – Marlene Winberg (UCT)
Chapter 12: Dreams and stories – Mathias Guenther (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)
Chapter 13: Men and lions: engraved forever on the Brinkkop Hills – Janette Deacon (Rock Art Research Institute, Wits University)
Chapter 14: ‘The pictures of the │Xam people are in their bodies’: presentiments, landscape and rock art in ││Kabbo’s country – José de Prada Samper (UCT)
Chapter 15: Moths of the game: │Xam Bushman belilefs about hunting and rock paintings of moths – Jeremy Hollmann (KwaZulu-Natal Museum)
Chapter 16: Binding beliefs: the creolisation process in a ‘Bushman’ raider group in nineteenth-century southern Africa – Sam Challis (Rock Art Research Institute, Wits University)
Chapter 17: Bushman literature of the Drakensberg: the re-emergence of a ‘vanished voice’ – Michael Wessels (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Chapter 18: A century of the Specimens of Bushman Folklore: 100 years of academic neglect – Ménan du Plessis (UCT)
Chapter 19: Omnis traductor traditor: linguistic analyses of │Xam as interpretive tools – Robyn Loughnane (Humboldt University, Berlin), Mark McGranaghan (Rock Art Research Institute, Wits University), Tom Gueldemann (Humboldt University, Berlin)
Chapter 20: ‘A song sung by the star !Gaunu, and especially by Bushman women’: the blossoming of the uintjieblom – Helize van Vuuren (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
Chapter 21: ‘People who are different’: Alterity and the /Xam – Anne Solomon
Chapter 22: Penetrating shrouds of the night – David Block (Wits University)
Chapter 23: Locating │Xam beliefs and practices in a contemporary KhoeSan context – Chris Low (Oxford University)
Chapter 24: Biesje Poort rock engravings, Northern Cape, past and present – Mary Lange, Miliswa Magongo and Shanade Barnabas (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Chapter 25: ‘The Wolf and the Man’ – Katriena Swartz
Chapter 26: ││Kabbo’s legacy: San heritage conservation and language development today – Megan Biesele (Kalahari Peoples’ Network)
Chapter 27: Some reflections – Roger Chennells (South African San Institute)
Chapter 28: The /Xam and the San youth of today – Jobe Gabototwe (!khwa ttu San Cultural and Educational Centre)
Chapter 29: Archives in heaven: a tribute to the courage of ││Kabbo – Isabel Hofmeyr (Wits University)
About the editors
Janette Deacon is Honorary Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at Unisa, and is a leading expert on rock art in South Africa. She has written over 130 academic papers, and six books. She manages the Rock Art Research Initiative, a programme of the Getty Conservation Institute, at Wits University.
Pippa Skotnes is Professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. She has authored and co-authored several books on the writings of Bleek and Lloyd, most recently Landscape to literature (Axeage Press, 2011), and has curated several exhibitions around the theme of the San, among other subjects. She is a world-renowned artist in her own right.
- The Courage of ||kabbo: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Specimens of Bushman Folklore edited by Janette Deacon, Pippa Skotnes
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New from UCT Press this month, Genocide on Settler Frontiers: When Hunter-gatherers and Commercial Stock Farmers Clash edited by Mohamed Adhikari:
In September 2012, UNESCO held its first ever consultation with member states on the subject of Holocaust and genocide education, recognising the importance of teaching the history of genocide. The aim was to find approaches to raise awareness about the recurrence of mass atrocities and genocide in different environments.
It is in this context that Mohamed Adhikari has put together Genocide on Settler Frontiers: When Hunter-gatherers and Commercial Stock Farmers Clash, giving perspective to historical European overseas conquests which included many instances of the extermination of indigenous peoples. In cases where invading commercial stock farmers clashed with hunter-gatherers – in southern Africa, Australia and the Americas – the conflict was particularly destructive, often resulting in a degree of dispossession and slaughter that destroyed the ability of these societies to reproduce themselves biologically or culturally. The question of whether this form of colonial conflict was inherently genocidal has not in any systematic way been addressed by scholars until now.
Through chapters written by leading academics, this volume explores the nature of conflict between hunter-gatherers and market-oriented stock farmers in geographically and historically diverse instances, using a wide range of theoretical approaches and comparative studies, which also consider exceptions to the pattern of extermination.
INTRODUCTION: Invariably genocide? The exterminatory dynamic behind commercial stock farmer invasions – Mohamed Adhikari (University of Cape Town)
PART ONE: SOUTHERN AFRICA
Chapter 1 ‘The Bushman is a wild animal to be shot at sight’: Annihilation of the Cape Colony’s foraging societies in the 18th and 19th centuries – Mohamed Adhikari (University of Cape Town)
Chapter 2 ‘Like a wild beast he can be got for the catching’: Child forced labour and the ‘taming’ of the San in the Cape Colony’s Northern Frontier Zone, 1790-1840 – Jared McDonald (University of London)
Chapter 3 ‘We exterminated them and Dr Philip gave the country’: The Griqua people and the elimination of the San from South Africa’s Transorangia Region – Edward Cavanagh (University of Ottawa)
Chapter 4 Vogelfrei and Besitzlos, with no concept of property: Divergent settler responses to Bushmen and Damara in German South West Africa – Robert Gordon (University of Vermont)
Chapter 5 Racial paternalism, not genocide: The Case of the Ghanzi Bushmen (San) of Colonial Botswana – Mathias Guenther (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)
Chapter 6 The destruction of hunter-gatherers on the pastoralist frontier: The Cape and Australia Compared – Nigel Penn (University of Cape Town)
PART TWO: AUSTRALIA
Chapter 7 ‘No right to the land’: The role of the wool industry in the destruction of aboriginal societies in Tasmania 1820-1835 and Victoria 1835-51 – Lyndall Ryan (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Chapter 8 Indigenous possession and pastoral employment in Western Australia in the 1880s: Implications for understanding colonial forms of genocide – Ann Curthoys (University of Sydney)
PART THREE: NORTH AMERICA
Chapter 9 ‘A fierce and irresistible cavalry’: Pastoralists, settlers and hunters on the American Plains frontier – Tony Barta (La Trobe University)
Chapter 10 Dispossession, ecocide, genocide: Cattle ranching and agriculture in the destruction of hunting cultures on the Canadian Prairie – Sidney Harring (City University of New York)
Chapter 11 Conclusion: Seeing receding hunter-gatherers and advancing commercial pastoralists: ‘Nomadisation’, transfer, genocide – Lorenzo Veracini (Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne)
Recommended for: Academics and students in the fields of genocide studies, European colonialism, indigenous societies, as well as of the various national and regional histories involved. Interested lay readers will find these studies accessible and informative.
About the Editor
Mohamed Adhikari is an Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of several books, most recently The Anatomy of a South African Genocide: The Extermination of the Cape San Peoples (UCT Press, 2010) and Burdened by Race: Coloured Identities in Southern Africa (UCT Press, 2009). He teaches courses on African genocide both at the University of Cape Town and in Stanford University’s Bing Overseas Studies Programme.
- Genocide on Settler Frontiers: When Hunter-gatherers and Commercial Stock Farmers Clash edited by Mohamed Adhikari
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JM Coetzee’s screenplays for the cinematic adaptations of his novels to be released in JM Coetzee: Two Screenplays: Waiting for the Barbarians and In the Heart of the Country.
Coetzee’s screenplay versions of In the Heart of the Country and Waiting for the Barbarians are original and as yet unproduced cinematic adaptations of his novels.
Apart from a few early lyric experiments, Coetzee’s literary career has almost exclusively been dedicated to prose forms such as the novel, the memoir and the essay, and it is mainly for his accomplishments in novelistic fiction that he has achieved worldwide recognition. For readers familiar with Coetzee’s writing career, spanning more than 40 years, the screenplays, published for the first time in this volume, are thus an unusual and unexpected addition to the oeuvre. They show his versatility as a writer able to cross over into the medium of script writing and film, and doing so in a technically proficient and highly accomplished manner.
Academic Herman Wittenberg has written an introduction to this collection, examining the difference in treatment between the screenplays and the novels, as well as Coetzee’s relationship with cinema and filmmaking.
This work is the only one to be produced in 2014 by JM Coetzee and will be celebrated at a conference in Adelaide, Australia, to be held in December, focusing on Coetzee’s life work.
Introduction by Hermann Wittenberg
Waiting for the Barbarians
In the Heart of the Country
About the authors
JM Coetzee is a South African novelist, essayist, linguist and translator, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature and two times a winner of the Man Booker Prize.
Hermann Wittenberg is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of the Western Cape, where he teaches courses in Ecocritical Writing, South African Literature and Digital Culture. He has written several articles on JM Coetzee for accredited, peer-reviewed journals.