Media

So you think that Orwell’s ‘1984’ could only happen under a political dictatorship? Think again!

Many people — especially those who still read novels — will know George Orwell’s 1984, with its depiction of the brainwashing society of Big Brother, of Newspeak (the language designed to inhibit critical thinking), the Thought Police, and constant surveillance of every citizen, monitoring their behaviour (lest they should exhibit signs of discontent, or worse,…

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Popular art and the homogenisation of viewing subjects globally

The global hype around the HBO television series, Game of Thrones (GoT), which ended with what was apparently generally perceived by fans as an anticlimax of sorts, made me reflect once again on the pertinence of the intellectual work of that indomitable French thinker, Bernard Stiegler, for grasping the way that contemporary electronic technology is…

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Do we still need an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia?

By Pierre Brouard Do we still need an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics? If this year’s events I attended are…

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Dear Western critics, your fake outrage about Botswana’s elephants is a colonial longing

By Lorato Palesa Modongo “Come Kitty. We want to empower you. No, your mother cannot do this. Your government cannot do this. Time cannot do this… We will teach you how to commune with nature, grow ecologically friendly crops, trade fairly with eco-tourists and receive visitors from United Nations who will clap when you dance.”…

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Another important European conference for Afrikaans-speaking philosophers

About two years ago I wrote a piece for this site on an important conference for Afrikaans in Europe, which was held in Gent, Belgium, by the NAWG (Nederlands-Afrikaanse Wijsgerige Vereniging, or the Netherlands-Afrikaans Philosophical Society). We are at this biennial conference again, this time in Leiden, Holland, from where it will rotate to South…

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Season 2 of True Detective — A ‘noir’ reflection of our broken society?

When the first season of True Detective was broadcast — with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as two detectives out to solve a case that seemed intractable in the extreme, with a gritty cinematic style and refusal to compromise itself for the sake of satisfying the usual Hollywood saccharine, sentimentalist demands regarding plot structure —…

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Should one question technology’s drive for dominance?

In a sense, the titular question, above, is redundant. Technology is, after all, already dominant — a claim that hardly needs to be substantiated with evidence; it is there for everyone to perceive on a daily basis. Not that the objects of ‘perception’ are self-evident in any straightforward way. In social reality a good deal…

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A rebel without a satellite dish: Decoding the recent Steve Hofmeyr saga

Recently, a new method of braaing became fashionable in South Africa. It’s called the “MultiChoice Decoder and Satellite Dish Braai”. It’s more a roast, actually. This kind of braai did not appeal to me, to be honest. In the first place, I wasn’t sure how tasty it will be. I wouldn’t be able to chew…

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Creating space to talk about the politics of shame

By Rebecca Helman and Neziswa Titi In their interview with Elspeth Probyn, Vivienne Bozalek, Tamara Shefer and Ronelle Carolissen argue that “[s]hame has typically been understood as a negative emotion, a view which is prevalent in individualist, psychologising discourses about human experience”. Conversely Probyn argues that shame can be a generative force, one which is…

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Notre Dame, spirituality and technology

The recent devastating fire that nearly destroyed the more than 800 year-old Parisian Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame, has put something important in perspective. One could not but notice that the shock caused by this event was not restricted to Paris, or even France, which one might have expected. Understandably, Parisians have always loved this architectural…

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