sisters (1987)

Pick an old photograph of you. Go back and look at what was happening in the world around the time it was taken.

1987-Lombard's-Bakery-and-Delicatessen-2

Waterfall, Natal, winter 1987

From SA History Online:

1987
11 June, The year old State of Emergency renewed. Regulations governed security, media and black education. Initial period of detention extended from fourteen to thirty days.

24 June, Government Notice No 68: Repealed curfew regulations. Commenced: 24 June 1987

30 June, Proclamation No 8: Declared a state of emergency in Transkei. Commenced: 30 June 1987

July, Key African ANC personnel are assassinated in South Africa’s neighbouring states. Amongst them is Cassius Make and Paul Dikeledi, both killed in Swaziland.

1 July, Eight multi-racial Regional Services Councils are established to provide basic services, such as water and electricity.
The Reverend Frank Chikane succeeds the Reverend C.F. Beyers Naudé as head of the South African Council of Churches.

6 July, A new black party, the Federal Independent Democratic Alliance (FIDA) is launched to oppose apartheid and prepares to work with the government.

9 July, The Margo Commission of Inquiry into the death of President Samora Machel releases its findings. The plane carrying him crashed due to pilot error and negligence and was not lured off course by a decoy beacon as alleged by the Soviets and Mozambicans.

9 July – 12 July, Sixty-one white South Africans, mainly from the Afrikaans community, meet the ANC in Dakar, in search of a democratic alternative for South Africa. Eric Mntonga, an IDASA official, who organized this meeting, is found stabbed to death.

10 July, Ratifies the Convention on Assistance in the case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency; also ratifies Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident.

20 July, Signs an agreement with the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comores relating to the basic conditions governing the secondment of officials to, and the recruitment of other personnel by South Africa on behalf of the government of the Republic of the Comores.

26 July, Prominent anti-apartheid activists are arrested. Amongst them is Azhar Cachalia, national treasurer of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

30 July, A bomb explodes outside the headquarters of the South African Defence Force, injuring soldiers and civilians.

31 July – 3 August, International Student Conference in Solidarity with the Struggle of the Students of Southern Africa, London.

31 July – 3 August, International Student Conference in Solidarity with the Struggle of the Students of Southern Africa, London.

14 August, Reverend Allan Hendricks, a cabinet minister, resigns from government.

4 September, KwaNdebele: Public Safety Act No 5: Commenced: 4 September 1987

7 September, An intricate prisoner exchange takes place in Maputo, involving 133 Angolan soldiers, anti-apartheid activists, Klaas de Jonge, a Dutch anthropologist, Pierre Andre Albertini, a French university lecturer and Major Wynand du Toit, a South African officer captured in Angola two years ago.

11 September, A revised National Statutory Council is released providing a forum for blacks to discuss policy and assist in drawing up a new constitution.

13 September, Venda Border Extension Act No 31: Included further territory into Venda. Commenced: 13 September 1979

23 September, Signs treaty with Malawi providing for the training of nurses from Malawi in South Africa.

24 September, Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa is launched to articulate the interests of tribal chiefs and act as an extra-parliamentary opposition movement.

27 September, Oliver Tambo, President of the ANC denies that it is in contact with the South African government.

October, Chris Hani is appointed new Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

5 October, President P.W. Botha decides against scrapping the Separate Amenities Act, but agrees that some residential areas can be opened to all races.

patti smith – kimberly (1975)

Patti Smith and her sister Kimberly, 1962. (Photo posted on Facebook by Kimberly.)

The wall is high, the black barn,
The babe in my arms in her swaddling clothes
And I know soon that the sky will split
And the planets will shift,
Balls of jade will drop and existence will stop.
Little sister, the sky is falling, I don’t mind, I don’t mind.
Little sister, the fates are calling on you.

Ah, here I stand again in this old ‘lectric whirlwind,
The sea rushes up my knees like flame
And I feel like just some misplaced Joan Of Arc
And the cause is you lookin’ up at me.
Oh baby, I remember when you were born,
It was dawn and the storm settled in my belly
And I rolled in the grass and I spit out the gas
And I lit a match and the void went flash
And the sky split and the planets hit,
Balls of jade dropped and existence stopped, stopped, stop, stop.
Little sister, the sky is falling, I don’t mind, I don’t mind.
Little sister, the fates are calling on you.

I was young ‘n crazy, so crazy I knew I could break through with you,
So with one hand I rocked you and with one heart I reached for you.
Ah, I knew your youth was for the takin’, fire on a mental plane,
So I ran through the fields as the bats with their baby vein faces
Burst from the barn and flames in a violent violet sky,
And I fell on my knees and pressed you against me.
Your soul was like a network of spittle,
Like glass balls movin’ in like cold streams of logic,
And I prayed as the lightning attacked
That something will make it go crack, something will make it go crack,
Something will make it go crack, something will make it go crack.

The palm trees fall into the sea,
It doesn’t matter much to me
As long as you’re safe, Kimberly.
And I can gaze deep
Into your starry eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Looking deep in your eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Into your starry eyes, oh.

Oh, in your starry eyes, baby,
Looking deep in your eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby, oh.

Oh, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Into your starry eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby…


Simon Reynolds in a fascinating discussion with Patti Smith of her Horses album here.