Posted inNews/Politics

The problem with #RhodesMustFall

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South Africa has been consumed with statues in recent weeks. Statues have become a symbol of all the racial conflict bubbling beneath the surface of the “rainbow nation”. All at once, we agree that we need to talk about race and the colonial and apartheid history but at the same time we are afraid that […]

Posted inNews/Politics

Beware, the new statues

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Dali Tambo’s struggle theme park self-proclaimed “the show business of history” will soon be an expensive blot on the landscape. But about such present-day bronzes our students have had, so far, little to say. Irrespective of the misgivings that some will have regarding Mr Tambo’s R600 million-R700 million boon most, one suspects, will have no fundamental objection […]

Posted inEqualityGeneralMediaNews/Politics

Removing Rhodes’ statue would not ‘erase the past’

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“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 […]

Posted inEquality

#RhodesMustFall: ‘Silly, stupid children’

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“Silly, stupid children” That’s what some people are calling you on social media. “Silly”, because you had the courage to speak truth to power, demand dignity and recognition for the pain that you feel?   “Silly, stupid children” That’s what some people are calling you on social media. “Stupid”, because you dared to allow your […]

Posted inEqualityGeneralNews/Politics

Rhodes, Rancière and the politics of aesthetics

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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 […]

Posted inEquality

Take it down

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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 […]