r.i.p. ntozake shange (1948 – 2018)

One thing I don’t need
is any more apologies
I got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yours.
I don’t know what to do wit em
they don’t open doors
or bring the sun back.
They dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars.
Cuz a sorry
I am simply tired
of collectin
I didn’t know
I was so important to you
I’m gonna haveta throw some away
I can’t get to the clothes in my closet
for alla the sorries.
I’m gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
‘if you called
to say your sorry
call somebody
else!
I don’t use em anymore’
I let sorry/ didn’t meanta/ & how could I know about that?
Take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn!
I’m gonna do exactly what I want to
& I won’t be sorry for none of it!
Letta sorry soothe your soul/ I’m gonna soothe mine!
You were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death!
Talkin bout you sorry well,
I will not call,
I’m not goin to be nice,
I will raise my voice,
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all your secrets bout yourself to your face
& I will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways I will play oliver lake loud!
& I wont be sorry for none of it
I LOVED YOU ON PURPOSE, I WAS OPEN ON PURPOSE!
I still crave vulnerability & close talk
& I’m not even sorry bout you bein sorry!
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna
just dont give it to me!
I cant use another sorry
next time
you should admit
you’re mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein YOURSELF

Business As Usual After Marikana – edited volume (2018)

The mining industry has always been the backbone of the South African economy, and it still is. A healthy and sustainable mining sector should accordingly form part of the focus of our efforts to heal this country and its people. Nevertheless, the history of mining in South Africa has been and continues to be characterised by the oppression and exploitation of workers under the policy of the migratory system. The new dispensation of 1994, rule under the African National Congress, did not assist much in changing the conditions at the mines. It continues to turn a blind eye to the unjust wages and living and working conditions of miners.

Six years after the Marikana massacre we have still seen minimal change for mineworkers and mining communities. Although much has been written about the days leading up to 16 August 2012 and how little has been done, few have analysed the policies and system that make such a tragedy possible. Lonmin Platinum Mine and the events of 16 August are a microcosm of the mining sector and how things can go wrong when society leaves everything to government and “big business”.

Business as Usual after Marikana is a comprehensive analysis of mining in South Africa. Written by respected academics and practitioners in the field, it looks into the history, policies and business practices that brought us to this point. It also examines how bigger global companies like BASF were directly or indirectly responsible, and yet nothing is done to keep them accountable.

This publication, which starts by examining the long-term business relations between BASF and Lonmin, goes on to drill deeper into the hard rock of the persistent structures of inequality. By doing so we will understand that Marikana is not the tragic failure of an otherwise improving economic system but rather a calculated form of collateral damage.” – Bishop Jo Seoka, former president of the South African Council of Churches

#WeWillNeverForget

I have an essay in this book – if you’re interested, you can get hold of a copy via Jacana. The book also appears in German as Zum Beispiel BASF. Über Konzernmacht und Menschenrechte, published by Mandelbaum.

thabang tabane – nyanda yeni (2017)

We are proud to present the official music video for Nyanda Yeni, the first single of Thabang Tabane’s upcoming debut solo album, Matjale.

The music video, directed and edited by StraitJacket Tailor, is composed primarily of archival footage taken from apartheid-era cinema from South Africa. The images are borrowed from 1950s films and variety shows with some footage for 1970s propaganda films endorsing the notion of ‘separate development’. By taking apart old apartheid-era films and their fallacies of coonish fantasy, it slices and splices them in order to re-order their meanings. In other words, it subverts. Taking us for a loop. Also included in the film are short video clips of the legendary, late Dr. Philip Tabane performing, creating an arch that links father and son in life, love and malombo.
The archival clips are choreographed in a loop emulating the spinning of a record on a turntable, but also the vertiginous séance-like spin of a dance or chant for rain.

StraitJacket Tailor is a record collector, archivist, and award winning documentary film director/producer.

Nyanda Yeni is now available on most digital platforms.

The album, Matjale, drops digitally, on CD and on vinyl on Friday, the 14th of September, 2018.

Credits for Music Video:
Produced by Sifiso Khanyile and Boxcutter Studio
Directed and edited by #StraitJacket Tailor

Credits for Track:
Nyanda Yeni by Thabang Tabane
Music composed and arranged by Thabang Tabane
Lyrics from Traditional Song
Performed by Thabang Tabane (malombo drums, hlwahlwadi, toys & vocals), Dennis Moanganei Magagula (djembe, hlwahlwadi & toys), Sibusile Xaba (guitar & sounds) and Thulani Ntuli (electric bass guitar)
Produced by Thabang Tabane, Andrew Curnow & Dion Monti
Recorded by Andrew Curnow & Nhlanhla Mngadi
Mixed by Dion Monti & João Orecchia
Mastered by Norman Nitzsche at Calyx Mastering
Recorded live at the Tabane household, Mamelodi on 28 August 2016.
Executive Producers and A&R – Lindokuhle Nkosi, Chumisa Ndakisa & Andrew Curnow

Lovingly presented to you by Mushroom Hour Half Hour
http://www.mushroomhour.com

james baldwin and margaret mead – a rap on race (1971)

“In honor of the release of James Baldwin: I Am Not Your Negro documentary, we’ve decided to share the rare audio version of the classic conversation between Margaret Mead and James Baldwin from 1971. Long out of print, original LP sells for 3 figures. Courtesy The Charles Woods Collection. For educational purposes. No rights given or implied. Feel free to comment/share/subscribe. Share original link whenever possible.”

animation explaining giorgio agamben’s “homo sacer” (2014)

Clear explanation of this important concept.

The work of Giorgio Agamben, one of Italy’s most important and original philosophers, has been based on an uncommon erudition in classical traditions of philosophy and rhetoric, the grammarians of late antiquity, Christian theology, and modern philosophy. Recently, Agamben has begun to direct his thinking to the constitution of the social and to some concrete, ethico-political conclusions concerning the state of society today, and the place of the individual within it.

In Homo Sacer, Agamben aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding. Taking his cue from Foucault’s fragmentary analysis of biopolitics, Agamben probes with great breadth, intensity, and acuteness the covert or implicit presence of an idea of biopolitics in the history of traditional political theory. He argues that from the earliest treatises of political theory, notably in Aristotle’s notion of man as a political animal, and throughout the history of Western thinking about sovereignty (whether of the king or the state), a notion of sovereignty as power over “life” is implicit.

The reason it remains merely implicit has to do, according to Agamben, with the way the sacred, or the idea of sacrality, becomes indissociable from the idea of sovereignty. Drawing upon Carl Schmitt’s idea of the sovereign’s status as the exception to the rules he safeguards, and on anthropological research that reveals the close interlinking of the sacred and the taboo, Agamben defines the sacred person as one who can be killed and yet not sacrificed—a paradox he sees as operative in the status of the modern individual living in a system that exerts control over the collective “naked life” of all individuals.

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The blurb of Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life by Giorgio Agamben. Translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen. (Stanford University Press, 1998).