2002

Ubuntu’s Wounds

What is forgiveness? According to Pope,”to err is human- to forgive, divine.” For centuries, black peoples have been struggling to find ways to find balance; the kind of balance that says both ” never forget” and “I will not let this define me”, simultaneously. Young SA film director Sechaba Morolele explains that his film “Ubuntu’s Wounds” is about a black South African activist Lebo Manaka who lives in exile in Los Angeles. While there he crosses paths with the former member of an apartheid hit squad that had murdered his wife years before. The white policeman had gone to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and had received amnesty for the killing. The confrontation makes for explosive drama. This story is also that of the kwaito generation of the mid to late 1990s; of the opportunities of freedom. Sechaba himself is one of a new generation of black filmmakers. He also understands the need for a good education in film (“getting the qualification down first”) and boasts an MFA from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Photographer Andre Vladimir Pinard and journalist [and co-editor of Chimurenga Online] Sean Jacobs spoke to him in New York City. 

Good to be on the march again

Sucking lollipops (breakfast) Malcolm and I enter Alexandra stadium to the blast of bad poprock music and about 250 people. Somebody’s forgotten that music too is the message. Later, when the important people have arrived, the deejay plays bra Masekela, an apt soundtrack for a political generation faced with some tough challenges. We’re doing the media thang like back in the day. You select, you write, you sub and design, you develop pics, fetch copies from the printers and yeah… distribute your product. It’s chaotic, but wholistic, a helluva welcome change from the atomized corporate newsrooms we had struggled to enter. Huh!
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Good to be on the march again (the B-side)

Johannesburg 2002. Our city has become a brand, a name that may be said with the same scorn poured on Rio ten years down the line when all the promises have been broken. This is not the Johannesburg I know. Two weeks before the delegates jetted in (depositing a few tonnes of carbon in the atmosphere and then refusing to help clean it up) our streets were cleaned, our lights repaired and our city was safe at night with cops crawling all over Newtown. Downtown was done up like an art gallery.

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Meeting Marti, Neruda and Langa in the streets…

Amabhulu amnyama andenzel’ i-worry, Amabhulu amanyama andenzel’ i-worry andenzel’ indlala (White-blacks are the source of my worries; white-blacks are responsible for my poverty), (the song, was sung at a march of the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) in the streets Umtata last Friday)

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Lindela (the winnie suite)

an excerpt from ‘Lindela (the winnie suite)’ by Dominique Malaquais

car, maps, time. passports. visas. the king’s m-o-t-h-e-r-f-u-c-k-i-n-g english. we have all of it. and still we don’t find anything
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Myriem

an excerpt from Myriem by Boris Boubacar Diop

Mettre le feu à des ambassades, c’était de la folie. Le Président avait dû faire une allocution télévisée pour calmer les esprits. Ses courtisans n’avaient finalement eu d’autre choix que de lui avouer la vérité : ‘Excellence, madame Dembélé n’a commis aucun crime et d’ailleurs, il s’agit, heu…Excellence, d’un crime que personne n’a commis. On nous a roulés dans la farine, Excellence, mais vous, le géant intellectuel, vous le plus grand chef d’Etat du monde’ etc. Le Président s’était alors mis à vociférer, la bouche pleine de bave, les yeux en feu : ‘Je vais vous tuer tous ! Pauvres imbéciles, vous avez couvert notre pays de ridicule !’ Le Président était d’autant plus furieux qu’il savait très bien qu’il ne pouvait tuer personne. Cela ne se faisait quand même plus, c’était toujours ça de gagné.
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a re kwe afrika ka gare ga hip hop ya gae!

2nd thoughts: email masello to hear all about it…

and for yr sake, do it in sepedi.

Ed.

Bantu Serenade

by Ntone Edjabe (featuring Naila Belvett)

me i think there’s symbolism in those white policemen killing biko’s brain first.
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The Trajectory Of A Street Photographer

an excerpt from ‘The Trajectory Of A Street Photographer’ by Santu Mofokeng

Tardiness in returning photographs could cost you your reputation and business, perhaps even a beating. Most township people felt vulnerable and exposed when they gave you permission to take (or make) an image of them. Many felt that their ‘shade’ (the new anthropology term), ‘seriti/isithunzi’ (in the vernacular), or `soul’ (the older missionary term) was implicated in the process. They feared that their essence could be stolen or their destiny altered by interfering with the resulting image or images: ‘Camera-man, why are you taking so many photos of me. What are you going to do with the rest of them?’ Often I found myself at pains trying to explain why I have to make many exposures or to do a re-shoot. I imagine that my early experience as a street-photographer explains why I still use comparatively very little film on professional assignments.
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Hell In Bed With Ms Preprah

an excerpt from ‘Hell In Bed With Ms Preprah’ by Binyavanga Wainaina

The Cocoa lady is talking loudly now, as if she is talking to the whole room, ” He! So they left Oyster Shell, and went to Amigos. I met them there; five minutes didn’t pass, and they were fighting again. Some American guy stopped them. He! The guy could box like Mohammed Ali. Mohammed Mohammed Ali, he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee!