“Quite simply – and this is what I wish to discuss tonight in relation to the question of rage and violence – we are living in different times. Or at least, our time is disjointed, out of sync, plagued by a generational fault line that scrambles historicity.
“The spectre of revolution, of radical change, is in young peoples’ minds and politics, and it is almost nowhere in the politics of the anti-apartheid generation. In fact, even as they criticised young people just five years earlier for being apathetic and depoliticized, they have now thought student activists misguided, uninformed, and mad.
“You would think that it might be possible to resolve this difference in time by means of a careful reading of what is called the ‘objective conditions for revolution’: are we in fact in a time in which revolution is immanent? No matter the subjective experience of time – there must be a way of determining who has the better bearing on history, who can tell the time. What time is it? Yet to tell the time is a complex matter in this society.
“We are, to some degree, post-apartheid, but in many ways not at all. We are living in a democracy that is at the same time violently, pathologically unequal. Protest action against the government – huge amounts of it, what in most other places would signal the beginning of radical change – often flips into a clamour for favour from that very government. Our vacillations, contradictions and anachronisms are indication that what time it is, is open to interpretation.
“I want to argue that the comrades I have worked with in the student movement are not so much mad as they are time-travellers. Or rather, that their particular, beautiful madness is to have recognised and exploited the ambivalence of our historical moment to push into the future. They have been working on the project of historical dissonance, of clarifying the untenable status quo of the present by forcing an awareness of a time when things are not this way. They have seen things many have yet to see. They have been experimenting with hallucinating a new time…”
Read the rest of this paper, delivered at the 13th annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture at Wits University in Johannesburg last night.
They don’t understand.
We never will.
Our bodies are monuments of centuries of torture,
these exist in us
we live it every day.
We built this country
whips at our backs –
The Man holding the whip did not build –
Apartheid is not over.
No magic TRC wand can bippity-boppity-boo! it away.
Our glass carriage is still a pumpkin,
pulled by rats.
A polite revolution over tea and crumpets, good Sir,
‘twas the order of the day.
When could we mourn?
When could we cry?
When could we scream
for our loved ones lost
our chances trampled on?
Please Mastah Baas Meneer,
Gee my ‘n kans om te huil
vir my ma
en my pa
en my susters
gee my ‘n kans om te huil.
Let me stand up for myself
and for those who stood before me.
Let me march for myself
and for those who marched before me.
Let me call out AMANDLA
and raise my fist
and let me cry
after hundreds of years
let me cry.
— Ameera Conrad
B.A. Theatre and Performance at UCT
Please visit Ameera’s blog, HERE.
A substantive account of what students are doing right now at UCT. Fiercely awesome.
Forgive me at this moment, it is difficult to not be romantic in my description of what I feel is History in the making. This story is dedicated to my friends and comrades who are making waves at the University of Cape Town on behalf of many students, on behalf of me, on behalf of our children to change the institutional climate from the restrictions it has been gripped with through it’s inception. This latest wave of energy takes its rightful place as one, among many, of the acts of resistance against the systemic forces that resist change and substantive “transformation” as voices take on a new interpretation of the never ending struggle for liberation.
Forgive me in my limitedness, as I am physically unable to recount to you all that happened but I hope you appreciate my account of what I remember.. along with the moments that, most…
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“Mr President” is the controversial first single released on Long Talk 2 Freedom. It is a work of hip-hop protest literature which deals with the failed presidency of Jacob Zuma. The work remixes, and was inspired by, Tunisian rapper El-general’s classic, “Rayes lebled”, which became the theme song of the Tunisian revolution which brought Tunisian Prime Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali down in 2011.
Written, produced, mixed and mastered by Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh aka Vice V
Recorded by Tiger.X
T. Lekota, “Response to the State of the Nation Address”, February, 2013.
J. Malema, “They Shot us Behind the Mountain: Address on the First Anniversary of the Marikana Massacre”, August, 2013.
A protest song from the triple album Orphans – Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (ANTI- Records, 2006). Tom Waits at his most direct is devastating.
1968 was the year when political struggle for freedom culminated in global protests that shaped the future of youth culture. Paris in May 1968, under the conservative constraints of De Gaulle and amid an atmosphere of poverty and unemployment, played host to some of the most widespread and fervent revolts the city had witnessed. Clashes between citizens and state brought Paris to a halt and left its leader clinging on for his dear political life.
After a week of particularly violent clashes, militant posters with strong colours and bold graphic messages started appearing in the streets — plastered on walls, pasted onto barricades, and carried as placards in demonstrations. Produced as “weapons in the service of the struggle” by the Atelier Populaire, the outfit newly set up by students and teachers at the École des Beaux Arts, these anonymous prints combine powerful imagery with impassioned slogans on mistrust of the media, hatred of the reigning political party and solidarity with the workers to provocative effect.
More posters and info HERE.
The rhythm of outrage…
“What do a park in Istanbul, a baby in Sarajevo, a security chief in Sofia, a TV station in Athens and bus tickets in Sao Paulo have in common? However random the sequence may seem at first, a common theme runs through and connects all of them. Each reveals, in its own particular way, the deepening crisis of representative democracy at the heart of the modern nation state. And each has, as a result, given rise to popular protests that have in turn sparked nationwide demonstrations, occupations and confrontations between the people and the state.” Read more HERE.
Kardeş Türküler perform “Tencere Tava Havası” (“Sound of Pots and Pans”) in the streets of Istanbul this week. Check out the Kardeş Türküler’s website HERE for background on the group, which came into being in 1993 as a concert project by the Boğaziçi University Folklore Club.
And, here’s an explanation of the penguin footage later in the video from a Youtube comment:
“If people don’t know about it, the penguins mock mainstream media that has very close relations to the government. Main news channels have been nearly totally silent about the protests, not wanting to be hated by the government. One main news channel (CNNTurk) preferred to broadcast a penguin documentary while all of these are happening. Similar attitude from others. After being severely mocked by protesters, an apology and more coverage came.”
Flamenco flash mob staged by anti-capitalist group flo6x8 inside a bank in Sevilla, Spain, to express anger and frustration at the economic crisis. Flamenco began as an art form centred around protest and social awareness. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, flamenco songs were largely about poverty, suffering and the hardships of everyday life.
(Thanks to Lizza Littlewort for posting the featured link on Facebook this morning.)
Via Malika Ndlovu:
Stand Up! Be still. Join the Tower of Silence in reflection and protest against the silencing, a pillar of honouring and mourning. Wear white (a symbol of spirit, light, cleansing, unity beyond gender, language, political or religious agenda) and join this 1 hour vigil against the violence epitomized by the death and brutalisation of Anene Booysen… and too many of our daughters and sisters like her. This Wednesday, 13th February 2013, on the steps of St George’s Cathedral, from 12 pm to 1 pm.
Bring a photograph on a placard of anyone you think we need to remember in this way too. We will not be sloganeering or shouting retaliations against our lost sons, brothers who have perpetuated this crime against their own and her humanity. Our collective presence and solidarity speaks volumes and calls for multiple responses to this complex situation, affecting an entire nation. We make this physical visual statement on the eve of onebillionrising.org global campaign and the president’s “State of the Nation” address. For us, these faces, these stories, these discarded bodies and all the reasons why this continues to happen in the world and all over South Africa – THIS is OUR ‘State of our Nation’ call to address!