first published here: https://wordnsoundlivelit.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/i-dont-buy-it/
July 28, 2015
July 21, 2015
July 17, 2015
July 5, 2015
by Jimi O. Adesina*
Professor Archibald Monwabisi Mafeje passed away on 28 March 2007. The meaning of Archie Mafeje, for three generations of African scholars and social scientists, is profound and about diverse encounters. For some it was personal; for others it was through his works, and for most in the community the encounter via scholarly works became personal and intimate. The meaning of Mafeje for generations of African scholars is found in his uncompromising aversion to the ‘epistemology of alterity’ – the ‘othering’ of Africa and Africans – and the advancement of scholarship grounded in the centring of African ontological experiences. It is in this aversion to alterity and pursuit of endogeneity that we locate Mafeje’s lasting legacy for new generations of African intellectuals. This paper, which is personal and intellectual, involves a close and critical engagement with these aspects of Mafeje’s scholarships.
July 4, 2015
July 3, 2015
first published here: http://mg.co.za/article/2015-07-02-the-youths-sacrifices-must-not-be-in-vain
July 1, 2015
“A people who free themselves from foreign domination will be free culturally only if, without complexes and without underestimating the importance of positive accretions from the oppressor and other cultures, they return to the upward paths of their own culture, which is nourished by the living reality of its environment, and which negates both harmful influences and any kind of subjection to foreign culture. Thus, it may be seen that if imperialist domination has the vital need to practice cultural oppression, national liberation is necessarily an act of culture.”
June 30, 2015
June 27, 2015
June 25, 2015
It is true that the book, or more accurately the library, had successfully challenged and undermined age and even the living as the keeper of memory. But the privileging of the written over the oral also had roots in the relationship of power in society and history. [...] The dominant social forces had become identified with the civilized and the written. With colonization the same binary opposition was exported to Africa, with the written and the civilized being identified with Europe as a whole, while the rural, the oral, and the ahistorical were identified with Africa. The product of the oral no longer belonged to history because quite clearly the colonizer did not want the colonized to have any claims to any history as the basis of his resistance and affirmation of humanity.
Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
June 19, 2015
So a state, any state, is conservative by its very nature as a state. It wants things as they are, for it is constituted in the first place to ensure stability in a society with contending social forces and interests. Even in times of revolution the emerging state, after settling scores with the old regime and institutions, soon relaxes into safeguarding the gains and the new institutions from further changes. There is no state that can be in permanent revolution. Art, on the other hand, is revolutionary by its very nature as art. It is always revising itself– the avant-garde overthrowing old forms. Even in the work of the same artist there is a constant struggle to find new expression — a continual striving for self-renewal. And as for its relation to content, it looks at things not only as they are, but more essentially as they could be. [...] But content is never still. It is constantly undergoing change. Art strives to capture the essence of reality, which is motion. It celebrates motion. Art is simultaneously stillness in motion and motion in stillness. The state strives towards the perfection of the form of things, such as the legal system, even where this is in conflict to changing content. It wants to arrest motion, to continue with the repetition of the movement, supervise the known and the familiar. Stillness without motion: that is the essence of the art of the state.
Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Penpoints, Gunpoints and Dreams
Harmolodic = Highest Instinct
Something to Think About
When I speak of rhythm I’m speaking about the oxygen for the notes. The beat or the time is the constant format. It’s the mechanical part of motion. Rhythm is the freest part of that motion. The beat is the cement for the road. It’s the road that you’re traveling on; the road doesn’t necessarily ever change. Rhythm can be harmonic or melodic. Most listeners and players think of rhythm as the drums and think of non-rhythm as sound or words. To me they’re the same. You can be moved rhythmically or non-rhythmically.
I mprovising is a word used to express music that is not being written and calculated at the moment. Once I heard Eubie Blake say that when he was playing in black bands for white audiences, during the time when segregation was strong, that the musicians had to go on stage without any written music. The musicians would go backstage, look at the music, then leave the music there and go out and play it. He was saying that they had a more saleable appeal if they pretended to not know what they were doing. The white audience felt safer. If they had music in front of them, the audience would think that they were trying to be white. So that’s what I think about the word improvising. It’s outdated. The term doesn’t describe the musician’s individual struggle for expression. Usually the person improvising has to use some sort of vehicle to let you know he’s doing that. It’s a limited term. Memory has a lot to do with improvisation. People enjoy the music they’ve heard before, much more than the music they haven’t heard. To me that’s like memory. The same sensations that made them enjoy what they liked in the past, when it was the present, wasn’t memory. That was an experience.
from Free Spirits: Annals of the Insurgent Imagination (1982).
June 18, 2015
June 16, 2015
June 11, 2015
Last Thursday in ‘Andere Tijden’ [TV documentary ‘Other Times]: Roemersma [former Rara = Revolutionary Anti-Racist Action] vs. Duyvendak [former activist]. Roemersma from Venezuela, and Duyvendak here in The Netherlands. And then this question pops up: What do you think about the fact that Korthals Altes [at the time Minister of Justice] called the arsons of Rara terrorism? Roemersma , surprised, could not conclude any different than to say this was and is nonsense, and that nowadays you can be labeled a terrorist much faster than in earlier times. Then Duyvendak: Of course it was terrorism, and he distanced himself from the slogan ‘Your legal order is not ours!’ So he considers ‘the legal order’ to be his and calls Roemersma a terrorist.
Now, who’s legal order is it, I have asked myself once again. I will leave the matter of terrorism for what is for now, because these days we are all terrorists or at least extremists, or otherwise criminal, repeat offender, or just scum. So be it. What’s in a name. But the legal order, how does it turn out for people? And I do not mean the privileged and the ones that sucked themselves up in this society, such as Wijnand Duyvendak.
For instance, take the ‘immigration’ policy. Less reimbursement for lawyers that appeal against detention: the result being that less often appeals are filed. Reversing the burden of proof: nice plan of the new government Brown 1 [First ‘brown’ government (2010-2012) consisting of a coalition of the 3 most right wing parties: Liberal party (vvd), Christian party (cda) and extreme right wing Freedom Party of Geert Wilders (pvv) 2010-2012]: now you have to proof why and along which route you have fled and otherwise: return straight back to misery. But ah, in fact it always worked like that: the IND does not have to prove the things they did or did not do, the ‘alien’ always has to prove all kinds of things. The pronouncement of undesirability: you no longer have to be criminal. To be found without papers in this racist and nationalist swamp for a second time is enough.
Expansion of the powers of the immigration police: a plan coming from Albayrak (previous state secretary of immigration) just like the above. The executioners can soon do everything: house searches, cavity searches, read out mobile phones, and this has nothing to do with investigating criminals such as the members of parliament of the pvv. No, this concerns undocumented people. You exist, therefore you are punishable. The legal order, is it there on behalf of these people? I do not think so. How can former activist Wijnand Duyvendak be so insolent as to renounce the thought ‘Your legal order is not ours’? Well, I would rather be a terrorist than a power corrupted wanna be politician!
Obviously, we the white privileged Dutch with a passport are not bothered by all this injustice so we could state that this legal order is indeed ours, it just is not ‘theirs’. This means that this legal order is full of xenophobia. I have not even begun to mention the many acts of violence against undocumented people, on the street, in police stations and in detention centers. I have not yet mentioned the acts of despair, the hungerstrikes and suicides,the swallowing of razor blades. I have not yet mentioned the violence during deportations, the use of cuffs on hands and feet and the use of ‘bite masks’, the intimidation, the Frontex charter flights.
There. Now I díd mention them. Still your legal order, Duyvendak?
I prefer Roemersma, who refuses to distance himself from the Rara fires that after four times led to Makro’s withdrawal from South Africa’s apartheid. Roemersma: “Successful? The apartheid regime was not gone”: He was right, of course. Only one small cog wheel had been taken away. But one is better than none.
The documentary closed by stating that violence works. But is setting fire to a company that makes money from apartheid actually violence? I do not think so. And the same goes for all those capitalist exploiters that are being supported and recognized for their contribution to ‘our economy’ by our Western democracies. A business premises burning down is not violence, it is the beginning of justice. Now you may call me a terrorist, Duyvendak, because I express this opinion.
Rara [rara in Dutch also means: “guess what”], who’s legal order is it? Not mine, although it is being forced upon me. This legal order, it is there for those who posses money and power, it is there for lobbyists and politicians, for bosses and goody-goody slaves (fees are allowed and bribes as well). This legal order is rendering people chanceless and once they have become chanceless real good, this legal order calls them useless and criminal and strikes them with punishment and measures.
Duyvendak does not want to hear about it, and Roemersma has stepped aside in Venezuela. The first I resent, the second I do not. No matter what: time for a new generation to stand up and continue to carry Rara’s torch!
Joke Kaviaar, November 20, 2010 (translation January 27, 2013)
(Between [ … ] are explanations not found in the original text)
first published here: http://13-september.nl/inciting-texts/rara-legal-order-it/
Last week African refugees massively stormed the Spanish enclave Melilla in Morocco, occupied territory in fact, just like the whole of the US has been snatched away by fortune seeking Europeans.
I remember the images of bleeding people climbing the barbed wire fences from the previous time. It is a bad sign that people keep trying it, over and over again and at the risk of their lives. But why not? Their lives were worthless anyway, just as the lives of all those people that try to reach the European continent in sinking sloops.
In the same week, on Saturday June 21, the death of a 41 year old Tunisian in a deportation prison in Vincennes, near Paris, led to protests of the imprisoned undocumented people. A solidarity demo followed, prisoners set fire to the center and many escaped.
Europe was ablaze, it seemed for a moment. That would be more than justified, because only last week the European parliament unanimously agreed on a plan to bar migrants coming from outside of our high erected walls. It is called: The Returns Directive. All it still needs is a formal approval.
No longer the European nations pass each other the ball of the ‘refugee problem’. No, ‘we’ join hands: ‘they’ are not coming in and ‘they’ will leave as soon as possible, or ‘they’ will be locked up as long as possible.
Resistance is required. But in The Netherlands of the Schiphol Fire all we do is hiss at the Proud of Orange tour of the Nationalists, led by Führer Verdonk. The tragedy of that is, that in the meantime Verdonks successor seems to be able to go ahead undisturbed.
This has got to stop! It is time for – as the French say – a considerable incentive for resistance. Because, how can it be that Albayraks neo-fascist changes of policy are so little being noticed?
How can it be that the only thing Dutch politics care about is the fact that Dutch detention centers are being pimped up as much a possible by bragging architects and artists. How cozy it all is. So humane and friendly. And so we intimately polder [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polder_model] on, while in the meantime the incarcerated migrant does not understand what it means: polderen.
It all neatly fits in the European apartheid politics and we do that in our very own way, with healing words and soothing prayer. We all contribute to the dam that has to stop the flood of all those ‘aliens’. Ecclesiastical organizations sweet talk people into not protesting both inside and outside the walls of the centers, and organize their own project for ‘voluntary return’. It is all the will of God, you see. The government speaks of ‘intensive guidance’ and makes sure not to mention the word coercion, speaks of ‘freedom restricting locations’ and certainly not of prisons.
The new policy devised by Albayrak pretends that prolonging the asylum procedure with a few days, will be to the benefit of ‘the alien’, while the true goal is to justify and to veil the restriction of appeals, because: “Experience shows that the longer aliens can postpone their departure, the more difficult expulsion becomes.”
In the meantime the security forces of jailer Albayrak are taking “adequate” action against protesting prisoners in the Bijlmer prison. It must be very safe there now. Even her whining guards have nothing to fear. It must be okay when a government official uses the word ‘adequate’. Albayrak learned that from Verdonk [Verdonk used the word “adequate” to describe the actions of guards during the Schiphol fire in which eleven imprisoned migrants died]. The next uprising in another prison in this countries capital city is impending already, but questions are not asked anywhere.
Will the Dutch rebellion be stimulated by precisely those people that already have no way to go, that can simply and unobserved be forced back into their cells by the states thugs? Or will finally the free Dutch people go out into the street because they realize that in a country of increasing repression they themselves might be next? Identity control. Pre-emptive body searches. Raids. Or will the people only rebel when ‘orange loses’ [refers to the color of the Dutch soccer team]?
Where is the Dutch rebellion? Who is coming along to storm and empty the offices of the IND, to pour gasoline over the archives and computers in order to obliterate them by fire? Who will be helping to make the modern Gestapo stop filing the undesirables. Who is coming along to break down the walls of deportation camps and prisons, with demolition hammers and bulldozers? Who is coming along to distribute wire cutters that can be used to liberate people from fences and barbed wire?
Where is the Dutch rebellion? It’s about time!
first published here: http://13-september.nl/inciting-texts/dutch-rebellion/
June 8, 2015
June 7, 2015
1770 : Boesman as plaag verklaar en deur kommando’s uitgeroei asook die Koranas en die Griekwa Bergenaars. Wet gewing in 1798 van die wetboeke gehaal.
1775: Inboek wetgewing wat bepaal het dat kinders van Slawe en Hottentot vroue vanaf ouderdom 8 tot ouderdom 18 ingeboek is.Dit het ook later Hottentot kinders ingesluit. Hottentot kinders is in 1795 van die wet uitgesluit maar die kinders van slaaf en hottentotvroue is eers in 1799 gestaak.
1797 : Hottentotte verplig om houtpasse te dra wanneer hulle tussen plase beweeg.
1809: Caledon Kode of die Hottentot Proklamasie wat Hottentotte verplig het om passé te dra wanner hulle van een plek na die ander beweeg het. Was later herroep met die instelling van ordinansie 50 van 1828
1812: Die inboek van dienskneg Proklamasie van Goewerneur Cradock wat Hottentot en Boesman kinders wie wees, verlate of op Blanke werkgewer se plaas gebore is in te boek vanaf ouderdom 8 jaar tot 18 jaar.
1818: Proklamasie wat plaas werkers wie nie wil werk nie beboet het met 25 riksdaalers en ‘n 2de oortreding lyfstraf kan toedien.
1819: Proklamasie wat die inboekstelsel verder op inheemse kinders van toepassing gemaak het.
1828: Ordinansie 50 wat Boesmans en Hottentotte effektief van hulle taal kultuur en geloof beroof het deur dit as heidense gebruike aft e maak. Verder het die Engelse hulle as die inheemse volke se verlossers beskou. Inheemse kinders kon nie ingeboek word sonder hulle ouers se toestemming nie.Passe was afgeskaf vir inheemse mense. Hul reg tot grond eienaarskap was ook hierin omskryf.
1834: Vabond wet wat rondloper Hottentotte en Boesmans saam met slawe tot rondlopende kwaaddoeners geklassifiseer het.
1841: Die heer en Arbeider Ordinansie 1 wat ordinansie 50 van 1828 vervang het. Het boete van 20 sjillings vir onwettige inboek van inheemse kinders bevat.
1856: Meester en Arbeider Wet no 15 wat ordinansie 1 van 1841 net so oorgeneem het wat boetes van onwettige inboeking van inheemse kinders tot hoogstens 20 sielings beperk het. Hierdie wetgewing is eers in 1974 van die wetboeke geskraap en is een van die wette wat ons inheemse mense die nadeligste getref het.
1872: Proklamasie wat inheemse mense verbied het om diamantkleims te besit of te bekom
1873: Meester en Arbeider Veranderde Wet wat uitsluitlik teen inheemse plaasarbeiders gediskrimineer het wat slegs hulle onderworpe gemaak het aan harde arbeid of klippe kap, skaars diete, allen opsluiting.
1909: Boesman Wet wat bepaal het dat daar geen boesmans bestaan wat nog van hulle nomadiese gewoontes leef en veldkosse versamel nie.
1926: Meester en Arbeider Veranderde Wet wat plaaseneienaars uitgebreide magte oor hul plaaswerkers gegee het.
1926: Die parkewet wat inheemse mense van hulle gronde afgesit het sodat parke daar gevestig kon word.
1927: Lokasiewet wat in 1933 toegepas was wat inheemse mense van hulle grond ontneem het.
1950: Bevolkings Registrasie Wet no.30 wat inheemse mense effektief van hullle inheemse identiteit beroof het deur hulle onder die diskriminerende naam van Kleurlinge geklassifiseer het.(Hierdie wet is in 1991 deur FW de Klerk van die wetboeke geskrap.) Die huidige regering diskrimineer teen inheemse mense deur hulle steeds as Kleurlinge te Klassifiseermet hulle gelykheidswet van 2005 soos deur president Mbeki geproklameer.
1950: Groepsgebiede Wet No 41> Hierdie wet is een van die mees gehate wette wat inheemse mense total verarm en onteien het.
1953: Aparte geriewe Wet No 49 of die sogenaamde “Slegs Blankes” wet wat van ons agterdeur burgers in ons eie vaderland gemaak het.
1956: Suid-Afrikaanse veranderde Wet No ( wat inheemse mense total van die stemrol afgehaal het.
1959: Uitbreiding van Universiteit Opleiding Wet No 45 wat rasgebaseerde universiteite daar gestel het.
1973: Proklamasie op die Groeps gebiede Wet No 228 wat weereens ons mense verskuif het tot die verste woon gebiede uit die sentrale dorp gebiede uit.
1991: Gedurende 1991 was die Bevolkings Registrasie artikel 30 van 1950 sowel as die Groepsgebiede Wet van 1950 van die wetboeke geskrap.
2005: Demokratiese Regering gebruik artikel 30 van 1950 (geskrapte wetgewing) in hulle “Equity Act of 2005” en klassifiseer ons weereens as Kleurling.
June 5, 2015
It is one of the many ironies of the 1994 “negotiated settlement” that a large number of white South Africans can stigmatize the project of “transformation” at the same time as they continue to feel entitled to their privileged position in society. They are willing to fight for their constitutional rights, but they are not ready to contemplate, and deal with, the accumulated atrocities on which these privileges rest.
For centuries, whites in South Africa – and not only Afrikaners – enjoyed unfair advantages in the labor market. As in the United States, they were able to rig the rules of the game and control access to jobs and promotions while closing off access to training or education for blacks. The disempowerment and dispossession of black people goes further back than earlier processes of proletarianisation in the nineteenth century. The introduction of the pass system, the institutionalization of the cheap labour system, the exclusion from property ownership – these tactics were instrumental to the accumulation of white wealth, land and power on the one hand and the development of patterns of dispossession for blacks on the other hand.
To protect white privilege, boundaries were created that took the form of laws, customs and traditions. A deeply embedded racist ethos helped to justify whites’ loss of feeling for human fellowship with blacks. This is how white privilege came to be seen as an entitlement that was hardly ever contested. Over many centuries,whites developed an ability to pass on to succeeding generations the spoils of racial violence and atrocities. These took the form of monetary or property value, banking practices, housing and land assets, educational resources, cultural capital, insider networks, good jobs, a sense of self-esteem, dignity and superiority.
The process by which white privilege was legislated has been well documented. It started as a genuine concern for the real problem of white poverty. But from the early 1920s, the more concerned the state became with alleviating white poverty and rehabilitating the white poor, the more racist it turned out to be. Already with the Pact’s victory in 1924, W.F. Hertzog wanted to replace large numbers of cheap black labor with unskilled or semi-skilled whites. “Uncivilized labor” was replaced with “civilized labor” at “civilized wages.” Such was particularly the case in the railways, harbours, post office and local government.
Employers who hired “whites only” received preference for state contracts. Under the policy of import substitution, customs were relaxed for protected industries which employed a certain percentage of whites. A Wage Board allowed the state to enforce minimum wages. Meanwhile, the trades were closed to blacks as a result of the Apprentice Act. Welfare was reorganized. Extended state assistance was provided to the white poor in the form of public works, vocational guidance, health services and housing, social clubs, pensions for poor mothers, old age pensions or sick and disability grants.
Later, the capital accumulated in farming flowed into financial institutions, which in turn helped greatly to diversify the range of Afrikaner commerce. A recapitalization of the education sector, especially at university level, expanded Afrikaner involvement in a whole range of professions in the public and private sector. A new generation of Afrikaner entrepreneurs spearheaded upward social mobility. Sanlam and Trustbank, amongst others, gave Afrikaners a footing in a commercial world dominated by English corporations. Anglophone mining houses made space for Afrikaner-controlled corporations to buy into this sector.
Per capita income amongst Afrikaans-speaking whites was less than half that of English-speakers in 1946. In the late 1970’s, it had risen to 80 per cent and was heading towards parity. This is how white South Africa came to enjoy a standard of living equal to that of the richest countries in the North.
Today, large sections of the South African white population can no longer see the advantages they gained from these arrangements. Indeed, in order to oppose “transformation,” the past has to be erased. The element of cruelty and brutality it took to maintain white privilege has to be forgotten. Whites have to be discouraged from understanding the benefits that still accompany their own skin colour, including in the new democratic dispensation. Instead, in a typically neo-conservative move, they are encouraged to absolve themselves from the sins of the past and to perceive themselves as the new victims of a corrupt and incompetent black government which, in addition, is “soft on crime.”
Apartheid Futures and the Limits of Racial Reconciliation
June 4, 2015
“People of a same period and collectivity, who have lived through the same events, who have raised or avoided the same questions, have the same taste in their mouth; they have the same complicity, and there are the same corpses among them.”
What is Literature?
May 30, 2015
Terwyl die bloed drup uit die loop van die geweer~
Verdwaas geskok gille wat klief deur die hemelruim bloed wat stort weer en weer
~N masjien wat dreun om vragte aan te ry~
Om die verlies te vermy~
Terwyl die bloed drup uit die loop van die geweer.
Klop hul mekaar op die skouer en se
Ons doen dit weer en weer~
Die bloed wat wegsypel in die grond~
Duur gekoop in minerale reg onse grond~
Bloed bloed bloed…