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Right! That's a wrap of our #ManBooker2014 coverage. Congratulations to Richard Flanagan bookslive.co.za/Yq9F

Archive for the ‘Academic’ Category

PEN Afrikaans reageer op minister Angie Motshekga se beleidsvoorstel van een teksboek per graad per taal

PEN Afrikaans spreek namens alle Afrikaanse skrywers sy diepste kommer uit oor die regering se sentraliseringsplanne vir die onderwys – dit sal noodlottige gevolge vir die Suid-Afrikaanse uitgewerswese hê en ’n permanente knou toedien aan die publikasie van literatuur en lektuur in al die landstale.

Omdat die stelsel sal veroorsaak dat talle kleiner, onafhanklike uitgewerye in die slag bly, sal dit publikasiekanale vir skrywers verminder en talle die geleentheid van publikasie ontneem. Ons is bekommerd oor die werksverlies by uitgewerye wat deur die toepassing van die minister se voorstelle veroorsaak sal word, en die verlies aan inkomste wat soveel van ons lede sal ly.

Die planne, soos vervat in minister Angie Motshekga se beleidsvoorstel in die Staatskoerant van 4 September vanjaar, voorsien vir slegs een teksboek per graad per taal.

Indien geïmplementeer, sal dit ’n vernietigende uitwerking hê op die ontwikkeling van die letterkunde in alle tale, maar veral die inheemse tale wat in die afgelope twintig jaar merkwaardige groei getoon het, veral danksy ‘n onderwysbedeling van veelvuldige keuses by voorskrywing.

Vir Afrikaanse skrywers, wat daarop bedag is dat verskillende skrywers vir leerlinge op uiteenlopende vlakke toegang gee tot die Afrikaanse letterkunde en taal, is dit des te meer kommerwekkend omdat toenemende staatsingryping in die publikasieproses kan meebring dat slegs meelopers van die ANC-regime geseën sal word met voorskrywing.

Minister Motshekga se beleidsvoorstel is ’n uitvloeisel van een van die ANC se resolusies by die nasionale kongres in 2012 in Mangaung. Daarvolgens moet nie net aandag gegee word aan standaardisering deur uniforme teksboeke aan alle leerders nie, maar moet die staat ook toetree tot die druk van teks- en werkboeke – en die intellektuele eiendom daarin besit.

Laasgenoemde sal slegs moontlik wees as daar in terme van huidige kopiereg-wetgewing ’n sedering van regte deur skrywers is – met rampspoedige gevolge vir outeurs wat ’n bestaan moet maak uit hul skryfwerk. Skrywers sal hul regte wegteken vir eenmalige aalmoese.

As lede van PEN Afrikaans steun ons ook SADTU (South African Democratic Teachers Union) se teenkanting teen minister Motshekga se beleidsvoorstelle. Onderwysers neem aan die huidige besluitneming oor voorgeskrewe boeke deel omdat hulle weet wat die behoeftes is van leerders. Minister Motshekga se voorstelle sluit hulle uit, en plaas die besluite in die hande van kantoorwerkers sonder onderwysondervinding.
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Uitgereik deur: Kerneels Breytenbach, Voorsitter: PEN Afrikaans
Kontakbesonderhede: penafrikaans@gmail.com | 082 7125694


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Chantelle Gray van Heerden Reviews Antjie Krog: An Ethics of Body and Otherness by Judith Lütge Coullie and Andries Visagie

Antjie Krog: An Ethics of Body and OthernessVerdict: carrot

For many South Africans Antjie Krog is a household name – her place in the bookshelf as established as Shakespeare was in so many bookshelves for so many years. But Krog carries with her a sobering element, for much of her writing is based, at least in part, on reality which encloses a kind of truth – theirs, mine, yours, ours. But truth, as we all know, is a burning bush, and if it burns with heaven’s ecstasies, it is only so because it is laced with hell’s finest cocaine. This is the ‘white heat’ of her work, described by Andries Visagie in the preface. He writes, quoting the narrator in J.M. Coetzee’s Diary of a bad year: “Her theme is a large one: historical experience in the South Africa of her lifetime. Her capacities as a poet have grown in response to the challenge, refusing to be dwarfed. Utter sincerity backed with an acute, feminine intelligence, and a body of heart-rending experience to draw upon.” But collections on Krog’s oeuvre have hitherto been published as a body of work only in Afrikaans anthologies. And it is for this reason that Antjie Krog: an ethics of body and otherness was created: to bring together a book of critical essays in English, intended chiefly for an academic audience.

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Join Keith Breckenridge, Achille Mbembe, Sharad Chari and Ivor Chipkin for the Launch of Biometric State at WiSER

Biometric State: The Global Politics of Identification and Surveillance in South Africa, 1850 to the PresentWiSER and the programme of Public Positions on History and Politics would like to invite you to the launch of Biometric State: The Global Politics of Identification and Surveillance in South Africa, 1850 to the Present by Keith Breckenridge.

In this book, Breckenridge examines the historical origin of South Africa’s obsession with biometric government and the country’s international context in this. He explains the effects of biometric identification and registration systems on politics and democracy.

After giving a short speech about the biometric state and its significance, Breckenridge will take part in a panel discussion with Sharad Chari and Ivor Chipkin. The discussion will be chaired by Achille Mbembe.

The launch will be in the WiSER Seminar Room at Wits on 20 October, at 6 PM.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Monday, 20 October 2014
  • Time: 6 PM
  • Venue: WISER Seminar Room
    6th Floor of the Richard Ward Building
    Wits University
    1 Jan Smuts Avenue
    Braamfontein | Map
  • Guest Speakers: Achille Mbembe, Sharad Chari and Ivor Chipkin
  • Refreshments will be served
  • RSVP: Najibha.Deshmukh@wits.ac.za

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The Place of Storytelling in Social Activism: Writers Get Real at Open Book 2014

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Northern GirlsProfits of DoomDo Not Go Gentle

Sheng Keyi, Antony Loewenstein and Futhi Ntshingila spoke to Mervyn Sloman about the responsibility of the writer on the final afternoon of the Open Book Festival.

The international panel went into the intended and inspected responsibility of the author, as well as the place of storytelling in social responsibility and activism. The panelists also investigated the impact of writing on the reader.

Books LIVE’s Helené Prinsloo provided in-depth coverage of the discussion:


 

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Joan Hambidge resenseer Antjie Krog: An Ethics of Body and Otherness deur Judith Lütge Coullie en Andries Visagie

Antjie Krog: An Ethics of Body and OthernessUitspraak: wortel

’n Paar kanttekeninge: As ’n leser van Krog is van die by­draes van buite insiggewend. Dit is immers altyd relevant om te verneem hoe die lesers van ander tale reageer op die Afrikaanse letterkunde. “Running With the Jackals” van Anthea Garman bekyk die rol van Krog as joernalis. Krog se werk by Die Suid-Afrikaan en as verslaggewer by die SAUK, waar sy die WVK-verrigtinge weergegee het, gee ’n opsomming van haar aanslag as ’n aweregse, dwars en belangrike kommentator.

Boekbesonderhede


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Wa Afrika, Loewenstein and Zibi at Open Book 2014: “The State of the Press Globally has Never Been Worse”

Open Book 2014: State of the Media
Nothing Left to StealProfits of DoomRaising the Bar

Mzilikazi wa Afrika, Antony Loewenstein, and Songezo Zibi spoke to Charles King about the state of the media on Saturday afternoon at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town.

King started the conversation by reading from Zibi’s Raising the Bar. Zibi said there is a crisis in the media today to respond and to remain relevant.

Mzilikazi, author of Nothing Left to Steal, said, “I think as media houses and journalists, we have managed to sustain against threats and intimidation.”

Profits of Doom author Loewenstein said “the state of the press globally has never been worse”. He said journalists are being killed as part of propaganda campaigns.

The three veterans spoke about the challenges of journalism, the changing nature of newsrooms, and the influence of citizen journalism.

Books LIVE’s Erin Devenish covered the conversation:

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The Next Book: “Writing is a Career of Doubts about Yourself”

Open Book 2014: Under Pressure
UnimportanceA Man Who is Not a ManHear Me Alone
The FollyDouble NegativeMarginal Spaces

You’ve written a bestseller. Now what? Thando Mgqolozana and Ivan Vladislavic spoke to Alison Lowry about the pressure of writing the next novel.

The conversation centred around the size and nature of the South African book publishing industry. Lowry said that the market in South Africa is tiny, and that regardless of the book an author won’t sell millions of copies. Vladislavic said because the publishing world is so small it relieves much of the pressure.

Mgqolozana said, “Writing is a career of doubts about yourself.” Lowry said that early success can be paralysing, citing Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird as a prime example.

The authors spoke about the use and gains (and distractions) of social media, inspiration, and whether the great South African novel is yet to be written.

Books LIVE’s Helené Prinsloo tweeted from the event:

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Zombie Apocalypse and Vulture Capitalism: Late Night Sessions at Open Book

Some interesting conversations emerged during the Friday night sessions at the Open Book Festival. The Books LIVE team covered every word.

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Open Book 2014: Zombie Apocalypse

The Girl with All the GiftsSharp EdgesZombies crawled from the woodwork at the Fugard Studio when Mike Carey spoke to Sharp Edges author SA Partridge about The Girl with all the Gifts.

Carey said The Girl with all the Gifts is a coming-of-age story where the main character, a zombie, learns about herself and her place in the world.

Partridge observed how the humans in the book came across as quite vile. Carey agreed, saying that all monsters show us a part of ourselves.

Carey and Partridge discussed the fascinating Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus, which inspired Carey’s idea for the “hungries” in his book, as well as comic books and the movie adaptation that’s in the works.

Books LIVE’s Lindsay Callaghan … um … “live” tweeted the event:


 

Another Great Day at Sea

Open Book 2014: Another Great Day at Sea

Another Great Day at SeaDevil's HarvestGeoff Dyer told Andrew Brown, author of Devil’s Harvest, about his writing non-fiction and working on Another Great Day at Sea

Dyer said the title of his book Another Great Day at Sea was part of the address to the ship’s company the captain gave every day. Dyer had his own room on the ship, and in his writing he painted a terrible picture of himself. However, he said he thinks that parts of his book are “screamingly funny”.

Books LIVE’s Jennifer Malec covered the gig:


 

Disaster Capitalism

Open Book 2014: Disaster Capitalism

Profits of DoomAntony Loewenstein spoke to John Maytham about Profits of Doom and the upcoming documentary about the book.

Loewenstein is an Australian author, journalist, activist, documentarian, and blogger. He told Maytham that Profits of Doom “challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it”.

Loewenstein read various books on disaster capitalism and looked at the similarities between countries where vulture capitalism occurs.

From fracking to the treatment of refugees in certain countries, Loewenstein and Maytham left no stone unturned.

Books LIVE’s Helené Prinsloo tweeted from the discussion, which she said made her brain hurt slightly:


 

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Open Book 2014: Top Tweets from “Fixing Our Schools” with Jonathan Jansen

Molly Blank, Jonathan Jansen and John Maytham

How to Fix South Africa's SchoolsBooks LIVE’s Erin Devenish caught Jonathan Jansen’s 1 PM session on the opening day of Open Book 2014:

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Remembering Steve Biko, 37 Years On

Steve Biko Drum magazine

South Africans are united in celebrating the legacy of Steve Biko today, 37 years to the day after his death in police custody.

Voices of Liberation: Steve BikoI Write What I LikeSteve BikoBikoBiko Lives!The Steve Biko Memorial Lectures

The Black Consciousness activist and Struggle hero died at the age of 30 on September 12, 1977, in political detention, after being horrifically tortured.

Then apartheid minister of justice Jimmy Kruger said at the time: “I am not saddened by Biko’s death and I am not mad. His death leaves me cold.”

In a rare television interview shared on YouTube, Biko outlines his hopes for South Africa: “We see a completely non-racial society. We don’t believe for instance in the so-called guarantees for minority rights, because guaranteeing minority rights implies a division of portions of the community on a race basis.

“We believe that in our country there shall be no minority, there shall be no majority, there shall just be people. And those people will have the same status before the law and they will have the same political rights before the law. so in a sense it will be a complete non-racial egalitarian society.”

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

From the Steve Biko Foundation:

In remembering Biko and drawing lessons from his legacy, a number of issues arise. First, because of their violent nature, the circumstances surrounding his death tend to be the predominant context within which he is remembered. Yet, it was in life that Biko made the most profound contribution to the liberation of South Africa.

Secondly, although Biko is often regarded as the father of Black Consciousness, his political contribution extends well beyond black society and its consciousness. By abandoning politics of comfort, Biko challenged liberal white society to revisit its own consciousness. In this way, he contributed significantly to white consciousness and thus to ploughing the ingredients of mutual respect and non-racialism.

Third, by placing emphasis on the individual as well as the collective, his legacy was far reaching in highlighting the inextricable link between history and biography between the struggles of society and the role of the individual.

Lastly, Biko died at the tender age of thirty. Almost as many years later, his legacy continues to stand the test of intellectual inquiry, as South Africa continues to define itself as a nation. Particularly because of his young age, the substantive qualities of Biko’s legacy speak to the responsibility facing youth as custodians of our democracy, perhaps more so than with any other of the founders of our democracy.

Steve Biko is also trending on Twitter this morning, with people tweeting quotes from the man as well as rare interviews and photographs.

Click on the image to view an interactive Google Cultural Institute timeline of Biko’s life between 1965-1976:

Steve Biko

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Image courtesy of South African History Online


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