kagablog

September 15, 2017

Kyle Shepherd

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first published here: https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/business-day/20170915/281822873966436

June 25, 2015

ngugi on history and humanity

Filed under: philosophy,politics,stephanie vos — ABRAXAS @ 5:19 pm

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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

ngugi wa thiongo on the relationship between art and the state

Filed under: art,literature,politics,stephanie vos — ABRAXAS @ 5:00 pm

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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