Mike van Graan

Weep not for Madiba

There will come a time When history turns When new heroes are birthed And made more giant by fading memory Of him who has now passed Not yet interred The time has already come For those without sin To cast their first Second Third Stones He should have done He did not do He could…

12 Comments Continue Reading →

Ben Ngubane and Piekniek by Dingaan

Ben Ngubane – till recently the chairperson of the perpetually dysfunctional SABC board – was appointed as the first minister of arts, culture, science and technology after the historic 1994 elections. It was a euphoric time for the arts sector. The right to freedom of creative expression was guaranteed in the interim Constitution. Apartheid’s censorship…

8 Comments Continue Reading →

Cry (wolf racism) the beloved country

There is probably nothing as tiresome, irritating and reactionary in contemporary South African discourse as the knee-jerk accusation of racism in response to anything critical of the ANC government, of any black person or of any institution that happens to be managed by black people (in the broadest, Biko-esque sense of “black”). Ironically, this knee-jerk,…

45 Comments Continue Reading →

Oscar Pistorius and the State of the Nation

In a recent conversation with a cartoonist friend, he suggested that his daily work had changed from providing insights into our lived reality through over-the-top images, to toning down our over-the-top reality for a baffled and battered citizenry, through light relief. Artists, cartoonists and writers often use metaphors to provide insights into the state of…

33 Comments Continue Reading →

They say critics of the ANC are racists, unpatriotic traitors

It’s ironic (but understandable, given his position as a senior government official in the department of arts and culture) that Sandile Memela’s article “They say government-sponsored artists are traitors” focuses primarily on the contribution of Wally Serote (former head of the ANC’s department of arts and culture and former chairperson of the parliamentary committee on…

28 Comments Continue Reading →