February 6, 2014
February 2, 2014
keep reading this article here:http://mg.co.za/article/2014-01-30-insights-into-an-exotic-culture
January 28, 2014
the opening prayer in the documentary ‘ inconsolable memory’ when this old lady is summoning the higher being to give truth to the project, the plight of the eoan group is quite touching. the documentary soundtrack, the japanese pianist tomoko mulaiyama, gives the documentary a majestic and haunting elegance.
on the subject itself i should say i find the film to be quite enlightening . it kind of want to say we are all on the same page when it comes to prejudice. the visuals of the yesteryear district six, the children playing in the street, a jolly good drunk fellow who is teased by the bunch of kids in the street kind of set the film tone towards the path of truth . to console your memories you have to drown your self to alcohol..the struggles of the eoan group is a struggle that almost all of us in sa have experienced. the beauty though of the documentary is that it is not only highlighting the struggles of the eoan group as the coloured race but deeper it pins and pierces through the struggles of the arts in both past and present south africa. it is only through the arts that we can , or begin to understand the ways of a society.
the eoan group it seems were the force to be reckon with when it comes to opera music but because of a cruel system that deprived them of the free expression they were instead labelled as collaborators , a stigma that everyone is afraid to be associated with.it is unfortunate that the colour card has to go to extremes as to even create hatred amongst the community itself , perhaps the divide and rule system.
memory has no colour , as i contemplate on this idea i am reminded by the plight of the white people (perhaps very few) who were also caught in this race fracas . those who were deprived of free movement in their “own” country and by their own elected “government” . maybe it is because unknowingly they collaborated in voting for that oppressive and fascist rule. the inconsolable memory is telling us how to destroy arts entirely . arts is the reflection of a society and as such it evokes many feelings such as envy, pride , discipline etc and those are the qualities that shape society’s political expression.disdaining of the eoan group can be reminiscent of the nazi rule in germany . in order to survive in an evil idea one has to build clandestine of a token privilegded. of which those would be the oppressed.therefore i find it very hard to classify the eoan group contribution in shaping this country’s socio-politics nor towards the upliftment and advancement of the arts . were they collaborators (i don’t know) were they cultural activists ( i don’t know). whatever the case here is a tell tale of a heritage almost forgotten and erased from the archives of our cultural thoughts
memory is cost. perhaps this one area that we all fail to look at when we come to archiving . it was an alarming distress to learn that during the making of this documentary nfvf refused funding of this project with reasons that we can not understand . maybe it is because of what coloured people often lament and i can quote them clearly ,’ during the apartheid times we were not white enough to be classified as white people but now is the black rule and still we are not black enough to be classified as black people’. this is a sad and painful remark to think of . it is even more sad when you see it happening practically even in times of democratic rule.in 1996 during the acceptance of the first post-apartheid constitution mr tm mbeki on behalf of the anc made a powerful and oratory speech . in his speech he laid bear the hardships and struggles of the coloured race(the khoi and the san descendants) and how they were the first to suffer under colonial rule and ultimately lost their dignity . but now with this nfvf action it kind of inflicting on that wound.
memory is legacy – having been following the works of aryan kaganof from his previous projects it is clear that we are dealing with someone who is in state of hysteria , someone who is helplessly distressed by the erosion of arts in south africa , someone who is constantly and consistently banging on the doors of those who claim to be the custodians of arts but regrettably get no answer.his works are about preservation of legacies to reclaim our human dignity and to contribute an authentic, original and geniune gift to world cultures.
the photographic memories of ian bruce huntley on his recently launched book keeping times further emphasis of the importance of memory produces a perfect parallel and suitably vindicates the case of aryan kaganof.
as sometimes painful as the circumstances may be, memory heals. at times hidden, memory builds. controversial at points , it leads to healthy debates.whatever the case
memory is GOOD
December 17, 2013
December 13, 2013
first published here: https://www.facebook.com/seancmichael/posts/335015993307622
November 15, 2013
first published here: http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=34323
November 13, 2013
November 1, 2013
keep reading this article here: http://thenewage.co.za/46256-1022-53-Perspective_of_the_Man_On_Ground
October 31, 2013
October 24, 2013
I enjoyed it – but, Oh, what a huge burden of questions! And like Khalo I have no answers, at least not in the framework of langauages and references he employees.
I do think a Marxist-Leninist inspired analysis may make some headway (history and people on its stage are not static, they change; class conflict and the changing balance of forces determines what happens, not individuals however “great”; Mandela is human and like all of us subject to historical circumstances; and, dialectically : he was “great” (and unpack that) and thus achieved; if he had chosen/acted otherwise he might not have been “great” and may not have achieved; what he achieved/contributed was possible because of what he accepted he could not achieve/attempt.
On this last point, had he lived up to Khalo’s imagination of him (striding into a township as an armed commander at the head of an army) he’d have been mown down by the apartheid forces and become a footnote in a racial saga of a civil war – so frankly, tough shit for Khalo’s dream, and thank goodness for reality as it unfolded.
Final comment – I am left with a nagging feeling that Khalo’s “Letter” doesn’t so much document the enigma and present the questions, as much as it manufactures them – but this may be becasue I have only the trailer to go by. Of course it is not alone in this (the media as a whole in its breadth and diversity seems pre-occupied with the creation of Mandela fables to entertain and confuse us). A truly great film about Mandela will explain the complexity not deepen it.
But them I’m too into fact and short on dreams and imaginings . . .
Journey To The Self: an intimate portrait of jaspar lepak is helgé janssen’s astonishing portrait of a singer-songwriter whose life provides an apt metonym for our times. Her exquisitely beautiful voice plangently declares that “all of this violence we witness to women is the shame that we carry for bearing the fruit”, situating misogyny in the crucible of judeo-christian theosophy. Lepak talks about “the sense of loss of growing up in a religion where the pronoun is masculine” and humbly states, “this world wasn’t made for such sensitive things” (as women). “I’m tired of violence being entertainment” she is not ashamed to declare and watching this labour of love that is indeed intimately filmed by janssen, on the same day, as i did, as i watched the ghastly new isaac mutant video, kak stirvy (dookoom), i couldn’t help thinking how utterly lost this country is.
Lepak’s world is a realm outside of the machinations of the marketplace; “i’m still trying to figure out how to be in the world”. Unfortunately the world as it is is not a place any sensitive person would choose to be in/ But we don’t have a choice do we? Janssen made a choice the moment he heard Lepak’s voice at a live concert, he chose to follow her rigorously, filming gigs, recording sessions, soundchecks and, most presciently, a series of intimate conversations with the singer that make you feel like you’re sitting next to her and she’s talking to you for the first time about subjects that are of grave import to her, that are necessary. How she overcame her shyness, “the voice really got stuck inside”, and found her singing voice is a section of the film that will grab you by the throat and have you swallowing back tears and the descriptions of her fight to battle an eating disorder cannot but bring to mind the tragedy of karen carpenter and her battle against anorexia nervosa. “Hunger is a voice that needs to be listened to.” Indeed.
Journey to the self is a film that needs to be seen.
contact Helgé Janssen for your copy : firstname.lastname@example.org
October 21, 2013
first published here: http://www.filmcontact.com/africa/south-africa/good-report-receives-critical-acclaim-lff
October 1, 2013
I witnessed an ancient ceremony in the mountains of northern Zambia in
which a traditional healer cleansed two widows in a holy river. Both were
being haunted and made sick by the spirits of their dead husbands, who do
not want to move to the place of the dead, because certain rituals were
not performed correctly after their death.
The healer sprinkles them with purifying herbs, beats them with twigs, and
chants old songs commanding the spirits to leave ‘to the west, where the
dead live’ and leave the women in peace.
I was much impressed by the purity of this ceremony and its connection
with nature, and also with the gladness and relief of the women
This video is the tenth short documentary in my Spirits of Africa series
for the Youtube channel of the same name which has recently passed 60.000
Met vriendelijke groet, best regards, from Ton van der Lee
September 20, 2013
September 18, 2013
September 13, 2013
August 28, 2013
Zelda Potgieter – Lost in the desert? Sounding African landscapes in the music of the films of Jamie Uys.
This discussion will examine selected films by South African film maker Jamie Uys (1922-1996). Firstly, the Uys intertext will be read as one wherein Uys can be seen not only as promulgating Afrikaner interests as beneficiary of an inequitable subsidy system in the South African film industry during the years of apartheid, but also as subverting the apartheid narrative by expressing Afrikaner alignment with rural Africa and the African people, problematising their relationship instead with modernism, technology, urbanisation, and English-speaking white South Africa. In this way urban, industrialised space is often expressed as a threat to Afrikaner security and identity, whereas the rural African landscape is a space wherein they are home, and hence where political and ideological appropriation is presented as unproblematic.
Secondly, cases will be highlighted wherein Uys appears to have attempted to interrogate and subvert this very intertext. These two opposing positions are roughly, although not entirely, aligned with the location of the filmic narrative in either comedic or dramatic narrative forms. In the case of the former, for which Uys is arguably best remembered, Keyan Tomaselli has noted the importance of his contribution to Afrikaner consciousness and identity insofar as his early films in particular ‘offered the first light-hearted, self-depreciating cultural moment after the severity of the historical processes [the Afrikaner] is historically known for, as it attempted to be humourous rather than overtly ideological in its approach’.
Thirdly and finally, consideration will be given to the ambivalence of the musical discourses of such films in aligning themselves with one or the other of the former two positions, ultimately positing the Uys intertext vis-à-vis the African rural landscape as one typified by a schizophrenia vacillating between, on the one hand, an anti-colonial sentiment – which might be understood from the point of view of the extent to which the Afrikaner himself felt unjustly “colonised” by British rule – but, on the other hand, also of an increasing desire to depict the Afrikaner as aligned with colonial narratives of progress and civilisation.
Zelda Potgieter (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and former chairperson of the South African Society for Research in Music.
August 24, 2013
August 14, 2013
July 29, 2013
first published here: http://www.citypress.co.za/news/unbanned-of-good-report-wins-appeal/
July 27, 2013
keep reading this article here: http://www.citypress.co.za/entertainment/our-ideas-are-being-policed/
July 23, 2013
keep reading this article here: http://africasacountry.com/this-film-has-been-banned/