General

People of colour carry the burden of environmental racism in a post-racial era

Videos depicting the senseless murders of unarmed people of colour have given birth to a new social movement, #BlackLivesMatter, while bringing to light a reality incomprehensible to white communities: the lives of people of colour have systemically been deemed disposable. To collectively realise the inherent value of black life we must think locally and globally,…

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A letter to a mother who raised black girls

Dear Mama I don’t know if you’ve seen the news: young girls at Pretoria Girls High School have been in the news because their school has racist hair rules. Apparently their some of their parents don’t agree with their protest. What has also been in the news is the story about 3000 girls in the…

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‘Fuck white people’? No – My response to Lwandile Fikeni

How do you react when you attend a public lecture in which an intellectual, journalist and influencer argues that the slogan ‘Fuck White People’ is an artistically beautiful form of protest? Do you clap? Offer a standing ovation? Roll your eyes? Mutter ‘fuck black intellectuals’ under your breath? It is something I’ve contemplated over the…

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Children shouldn’t have to trade off their identity for a good education

It was 1998 and my nine-year old self was late for a phys-ed swimming class. I vividly remember walking into the swimming pool gates and being firmly reprimanded by the teacher who was furious at me. He then proceeded to call me a “kaffir” in front of the whole class. I had never heard the…

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David and Goliath: Welgespruit Community goes to the North West High Court over their land claim

In the last two decades, platinum mining has exponentially expanded into communal land in the North West. This mineral rich area, which falls under various tribal authorities including the prominent Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela, hosts one of the world’s largest and oldest platinum producers – Anglo American Platinum’s Union Mine. Another lucrative platinum mine in the area, Pilanesburg…

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The world has become an uncertain and ugly place

Several things I have read recently have impressed upon me that, despite developments (particularly in the field of technology) that are bound to excite some people, in some respects the world has become more uncertain and “ugly” than ever before. To be sure, it has always been uncertain in an existential sense – no one…

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Elaine Salo Is

Once, writing about pregnancy, I mused that the body has its own knowledge, beyond language and consciousness. If you’ve given birth au naturel, you will remember that the body takes over, heaving and contracting, doing things you cannot tell it to do or to stop; and your mind is overwhelmed in helpless agony unless you…

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Why we should all contribute towards #SaveSouthSudan

Mondli Zondo During my recent seven weeks visit to the United States, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to connect with, engage and learn from a Fellow from South Sudan about the ongoing conflict in her country. I was humbled by this experience as it revealed to me how little I and many…

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Awakening the guardian within

I remember my mother speaking of “guardian angels” when I was a child. Though I became sceptical of their existence as I grew up, those stories stayed with me longer than my religious faith. Somehow I had the feeling someone or something was my guardian. Little did I know, it was sleeping inside.   On…

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“Names Unvoiced but not Unknown”: Cleone Cull’s surrealist art

Judging by the recently opened exhibition of multimedia drawings by Eastern Cape artist Cleone Cull – who spent years teaching fine art, first at the Port Elizabeth Technikon and later at the School of Music, Art and Design of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University – art is thriving in this corner of South Africa. Cleone…

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