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CULTURE Review

MAGAZINE

Articles written by Tshiamo Malatji

Hauntology & The Ghosts It Gathers

Life, especially Black life, is haunted. We are terrorised by constant persecution, the memories of our pasts and the anxieties of our future. There are many unsolved crimes, lost histories and sites where atrocities which once occurred can no longer clearly be seen -- “non-sites of memory”. We must recognise and address these phantoms. This is where the wisdom of, Ghosts, Spectres, Revenants: Hauntology as a Means to Think and Feel Future is helpful.

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Review – Women Hold Up The Sky

“If they come to evict us again, we will die until the last person standing” proclaims a woman in Uganda. Her village has been raided before. Homes and crops were burned down. People were chased away with fire and ammunition. Women were physically and sexually assaulted.

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The Bisho Massacre: Violence from Nowhere

We can appreciate the power of a documentary to express the truth, but this film falls short in explaining the condition of Blackness during South Africa’s tumultuous transition to democracy. A focus on the factual accounts of violence, backed up by archival material and interviews from primary sources, is helpful. But overall, it fails in the same area as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

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Black America is King

In itself, there is nothing unsuitable with Black America collaborating with African artists to produce commercial products, as is the case with Beyonce’s Black is King, but we must be under no illusion that Black is King is still very much Beyonce’s.

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Blood & Diamonds: The Exploitation of Africa in Cinema

Western films set in Africa are not African films. They make no attempt to represent authentic African stories, are created primarily for Western audiences and in the worst of ways, exploit Africa. Africans can do very little to prevent or alter these films because the economic capital they bring to the region is greater than there being no film at all.

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The Stories Only We Can Tell

The narrative of the Soweto Uprising of June 1976 is powerful. However, South Africa must invest more energy into expanding that narrative, to include histories across the country during that same period. This is not to undermine the Soweto protests, but to draw even more attention to how they inspired revolt throughout South Africa.

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