Tag Archives: memory

Has humankind really “progressed”, in the Enlightenment sense of the word?

In philosophy, there is a saying, by Hegel, that the owl of Minerva only spreads its wings at dusk. Hence, when we take stock of our situation today, with the benefit of such hindsight, what do we perceive? Has humankind really “progressed”, in the Enlightenment sense of the word? In fact, does “progress” make any…

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The Rhodes statue, erasing the past and importance of memory

The Czech writer Milan Kundera begins his unforgettable novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (Perennial Classics, 1999), with the following words: “In February 1948, the Communist leader Klement Gottwald stepped out on the balcony of a Baroque palace in Prague to harangue hundreds of thousands of citizens massed in Old Town Square. That was…

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Memory and moving forward: #RhodesMustFall is not a shitty argument

If you do not like something, throw poop at it. This was the thinking of some protestors who called for the removal of the Rhodes statue from the University of Cape Town campus citing that the continued presence of the statue was an ode to the white dominance of the past. The calls for the…

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Voting is not as simple as it is made out to be

So, I have registered to vote in South Africa for the first time. Who, then, shall I vote for? Sometimes the simplest questions are unbearably difficult to answer. The easy part is, of course, entering the polling booth, a domain situated behind a veil of secrecy, and enact perhaps the most atomistic ritual in liberal…

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Keith Hart on money, memory and democratising the economy

Keith Hart begins his thought-provoking book The Memory Bank: Money in an Unequal World (Profile Books, London, 2000) with the statement: “Ours is an age of money. Half the world worships money and the other half thinks of it as the root of all evil. In either case, money makes the world go round. If…

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In memoriam: Justice Pius Langa

I As I write it, I realise that I have chosen the title of this post deliberately, trite as it may be. In memory. Is that not where we are? And what we are in mourning? Memories. And, moreover, of justice. Those who know, tell us that mourning is the business of memory. In mourning…

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The ‘crystals’ of time

It seems to me undeniable that the human sciences – short for the social sciences and the humanities – are facing a crisis of perceived irrelevance in a world suffused in unreflective technophilia and, concomitantly, indifference to the potential value of the humanistic knowledge represented by, and archived in these sciences. Among the many ways…

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