Tag Archives: Rhodes statue

Removing Rhodes’ statue would not ‘erase the past’

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” writes George Santayana. In the midst of the argument that the #RhodesMustFall campaign is fuelled by a misguided desire to “erase the past”, it seems to me that it is ironically, but precisely, this argument that is hampered by a deeply short-sighted approach…

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If Rhodes goes, Jesus Christ must go

Here’s an inconsequential bit of South African literary history. The late poet Professor Stephen Watson used to have me over to his little house on Rouwkoop Road in Rondebosch just across the road from the railway line. This was in the mid-Eighties. With the occasional roar of a passing train in the background we often…

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10 useless responses to #RhodesMustFall

By Ntokozo Qwabe As the Rhodes Must Fall movement at the University of Cape Town (UCT) approaches its third week, I thought it necessary to put down the 10 most useless responses people have made to it thus far, and jot down useful counter-responses to them. These counter-responses are collated and developed from real responses…

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The battle for public memory: Why #RhodesMust(Not)Fall

By Marlyn Faure Don’t get me wrong I don’t think colonial symbols like the statue of Rhodes should be left uncontested. But blanket calls for the removal and sometimes the destruction of all colonial symbols could perhaps be working against the very issues being fought for: transformation, recognition, acknowledgment and justice. The protests at UCT…

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Monty Python and the Rhodes statue controversy

Does the name Monty Python still mean something to those under 20? In my day, Monty Python sketches were an inextricable part of everyday discourse. This was despite the fact that, as a result of the cultural boycott of apartheid, the original BBC programmes were not readily available. Fortunately, Jood maak plan, as the saying…

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Leave the Rhodes statue, remove its legacy!

It should be pretty obvious that Cecil John Rhodes would be largely considered a repulsive person by today’s modern moral standards, which favour equality. Anyone who, like Rhodes, acquires insane amounts wealth on the back of mass exploitation of a marginalised people would most likely be considered notorious and not be regarded as a hero….

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Rhodes, Rancière and the politics of aesthetics

The events surrounding the protests for the removal of the Rhodes statue located at a focal point on the Upper Campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT) has provided me with an opportunity to revisit Jacques Rancière’s influential contemporary argument on the politics of aesthetics. The focus on a statue obviously lends an explicit…

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Take it down

I know someone who — shall we say — passed water on Cecil John Rhodes’ grave in the Matopos Hills in southern Zimbabwe. The National Archives of Zimbabwe in Harare removed its own CJR statue in the 1980s and stuck it behind the building with some rusting tractors. Poor CJR. All he wanted was to…

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We can no longer deny that #RhodesMustFall

A good seven or eight years ago, when I was an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town, students arrived on campus one morning to find that the statue of Cecil John Rhodes had been defaced with red spray paint. The message read, “Fuck your dream of empire”. I don’t really recall what my reaction…

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The Rhodes statue, a swastika and so much offence

Yesterday, after a week of protesting at the University of Cape Town, anti-Rhodes statue activists placed swastikas and photographs of Adolf Hitler on buildings at the university. They claimed (after the fact, it must be noted) that these posters were put up to conscientise students to the offence that the statue of Rhodes represents. One…

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