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It seems this genet is making a habit of riding large herbivores.

A genet in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa has been photographed by camera traps for several weeks running, riding around on the backs of cape buffalo and rhinoceros . Researchers agree: this is weird! (via.) [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Sep 9, 2014 - 60 comments

Victor Gama: exploring musical terra incognita with unique instruments

Victor Gama is a self-taught composer and musician who has expanded his process of composing music for himself and others to perform into creating new or modified instruments, and is also involved with traveling to hard to access regions of Angola and recording local music, as documented on his website Tsikaya: Músicos do Interior. You can read an outstanding interview of Victor with Ned Sublette for Afropop, or read more on his creation of instruments as part of his creative process, or you can experience his performances on YouTube and his music on Soundcloud. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 22, 2014 - 3 comments

Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation

7 countries' attempts to grapple with their troubled pasts, and move beyond them.
posted by smoke on Jul 5, 2014 - 3 comments

"Lime tainted with the sour taste of racism"

“We pride ourselves on our multiculturalism and inclusiveness, but what kind of message are we sending to visitors and new Canadians from that region (South Africa) when they see this racial slur being used for a trendy ingredient with no thought as to how hurtful it might be to a segment of our own population?”
The Vancouver Sun reports on the increasingly popular southeast Asian lime with the shockingly racist but obscure in Canada name. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 2, 2014 - 109 comments

With reference to the recently leaked NYT memo

How Naspers CEO Koos Bekker beat the New York Times at its own game by Michael Moritz [more inside]
posted by infini on May 26, 2014 - 12 comments

You are going to hell. I'm a priest, you know?

Blues, April Fools, white noise, Robocop, Noah's ark, the Pope, even pizza isn't sacred on South Africa's first satirical puppet news show, Puppet Nation. Brought to you by the ZA News Network. MYLP.
posted by saysthis on May 9, 2014 - 5 comments

honor bound to defend freedom

Writing In The Gray Areas - "Are some acts so revolting that the people who commit them do not deserve a hearing?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 27, 2014 - 22 comments

Insider/outsider in South Africa

The women of Gugulethu and Khayelitsha township. The third installment of photographer Julia Gunther’s ongoing project ‘Proud Women of Africa,’ which is in many ways is an outsider's continuation of visual activist Zanele Muholi's 'Faces and Phases' series, “marking, mapping, and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.” In an interview with the New Statesman, Muholi grappled with the ethical implications of documentary photography: “It’s been done for many years. Africa has mostly been projected and documented by the outside world.” (previously)
posted by spamandkimchi on Feb 24, 2014 - 2 comments

Apartheid in South Africa (1957) Documentary

This film produced by the United States Federal Government in 1957 explores South Africa's apartheid policy, focusing on issues such as race relations, political practices, and segregated dwellings. The footage very radically contrasts the bleakness of black life with the privileges enjoyed by most whites as well as including several interviews with black leaders, while also giving the architects of Apartheid a platform to defend themselves and their policies. (34:11)
A fascinating snapshot of the time.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 12, 2014 - 4 comments

not only does art not transcend politics... art is politics

And I met with AZAPO, who had a very frank conversation — I was talking to the translator — about whether they should kill me for even being there. That’s how serious they were about violating the boycott. I eventually talked them out of that and then talked them into maybe going kinda with my thing.
Tthey showed me that they have an assassination list, and Paul Simon was at the top of it. [NOTE: In 1986, Paul Simon recorded tracks for his Graceland album in South Africa, in direct violation of the cultural boycott.] And in spite of my feelings about Paul Simon, who we can talk about in a minute if you want to, I said to them, “Listen, I understand your feelings about this; I might even share them, but...”
-- On the eve of Bruce Springsteen's first ever tour of South Africa, Little Steve van Zandt talks to Dave Marsh about Sun City, the boycott and getting Paul Simon off an AZAPO hit list
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 27, 2014 - 35 comments

Where the road ends

Where the road ends Recently at The Atlantic offices, we decided to take a simulated road trip using Google Street View, stopping only where we could go no further. Our virtual travels took us from the fields of Italy to the fjords of Norway and the tip of South Africa. We had such a great time at the edges of the world, we made a video out of it. (From the folks at the Atlantic news site)
posted by JujuB on Jan 19, 2014 - 10 comments

In The Jungle

"Mbube", a song that morphed into "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", illustrates the convoluted legalities surrounding music publishing rights and payments.
posted by reenum on Dec 11, 2013 - 19 comments

Flur Buh coppa Wee!

The sign language interpreter at the funeral of Nelson Mandela apparently... wasn't. If you thought the strangest thing out of the Nelson Mandela funeral was the byplay between President Obama, the first lady, and the Danish Prime Minister, think again. Deaf advocacy groups, led by the Deaf Federation of South Africa are expressing anger today over the appearance onstage of a supposed sign language interpreter who apparently knew nothing of sign language and was just making nonsense gestures.
posted by Naberius on Dec 11, 2013 - 303 comments

RIP Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela has died peacefully at home at age 95. The Globe and Mail has a good roundup of information and resources about his life. The PBS Newshour already has a show online about his life and moments after the news broke even The Onion chimed in. Rest in peace, Madiba.
posted by mathowie on Dec 5, 2013 - 359 comments

Apartheid's odd role in the vibrancy of the social and human sciences

JM Coetzee's foreword to John Higgins's new book Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa, which among other topics, includes an extended interview with Nelson Mandela ally and academic Jakes Gerwel on the importance of the humanities in both the anti-apartheid struggle. In an excerpt from the interview, Gerwel stated that Apartheid was to a large degree also “a battle of and over ideas, a battle of the priority of one set of ideas over another, and in this struggle the human and social sciences played a great and liberating role.” A (pdf) history of South African education under apartheid.
posted by spamandkimchi on Nov 5, 2013 - 9 comments

No, THATS the sun

In celebration of the end of the latest season of Children's Hospital, South African producers Your Girlfriend made a tribute video: It's Children's Hospital Africa.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 26, 2013 - 7 comments

The Gods Must Be Crazy, and the four sequels you might not know about

Roger Ebert thought highly of the first two films, the first he summarized as "a movie that begins with a Coke bottle falling from the heavens, and ends with a Jeep up in a tree," and called the South African slapstick film "a nice little treasure." He said the second was for people who like "happy movies better than grim and violent ones." After The Gods Must Be Crazy (YT, Crackle) and its sequel (YT), three unofficial sequels were produced in the early 1990s in Hong Kong and filmed in Cantonese, still featuring Nǃxau ǂToma throughout the continued series, and Coke bottles also feature prominently. As could be expected, these knock-off sequels integrate parts of Chinese culture into the films for the predictable humorous cultural conflicts, from hopping vampires to nefarious panda-nabbers. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 18, 2013 - 21 comments

Desmond Tutu compares fight against homophobia to that against apartheid

"I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place." Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, former chair of independent advisory group The Elders, was in the papers today. "I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this." Also reported by BBC News and The Mail on Sunday.
posted by glasseyes on Jul 28, 2013 - 115 comments

It's Better Up There

District 9 director Neil Blomkamp talks to WIRED about Elysium, District 10, Halo, his desire to buy a skyscraper and almost casting Eminem or Ninja from Die Antwood in Elysium's Matt Damon role.
posted by Artw on Jul 18, 2013 - 50 comments

Free Nelson Mandela

The point being, an angry song about a political prisoner in South Africa, held captive for 21 years (at the time of writing), and written and performed by a bunch of chippy former pop stars who appeared hellbent on throwing their success back in the faces of their fans, has no business being this happy, this celebratory, and this powerful.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 27, 2013 - 47 comments

"If we continue to stay together, we will kill each other."

Why the students at one prominent South African university, once a model of racial harmony, chose to resegregate. "UFS hadn’t remained segregated after apartheid’s end—it had integrated and then resegregated later. I wanted to know why the white students raised those ancient flags, and why the black students had left Karee. I uncovered a tale of mutual exhilaration at racial integration giving way to suspicion, anger and even physical violence. It seemed to hold powerful implications well beyond South Africa, about the very nature of social change itself. In our post–civil rights struggle era, we tend to assume progress toward less prejudice and more social tolerance is inevitable—the only variable is speed. But in Bloemfontein, social progress surged forward. Then it turned back."
posted by bookman117 on Jun 24, 2013 - 10 comments

A life in focus

Greg Marinovich is well known as a member of the Bang Bang Club, winning the Pulitzer Prize for photography for his work during the death throes of apartheid in South Africa. Less known are the unique (and often difficult to obtain) images documenting the often secret rituals amongst the diverse peoples of his homeland. As he writes in a recent column remembering Mandela, making the right choice can often be a difficult one.
Mandela's release in 1990 was a pretty surreal series of events for me. As a fledgling photographer I was thrilled when a British agency asked me to cover it. It was a great chance to make a break into the business, but I was conflicted. I had also managed to gain access to an otherwise secretive ceremony in the far north of the country, scheduled for the same day. The distance between Pollsmoor Prison, where the news crews of the world were camped out, and the mysterious stockade of the Modjadji was some two thousand kilometres. I had to choose between two competing once-in-a-lifetime shoots.
Here is a showcase of the works he has made publicly available as prints as well as collections from his close colleague, Joao Silva*. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jun 14, 2013 - 3 comments

Going Back to My Roots, Oh Yeh Soweto! Funky disco, covered and edited

In 1977, Lamont Dozier, Motown veteran, released his album Peddlin' Music on the Side, featuring "the Afro-centric disco hit" Going Back to My Roots. That sound was popular in the US, and also in South Africa, where veteran alto player Teaspoon Ndelu covered the song with his group Teaspoon & the Waves as Oh Yeh Soweto, "changing the lyrics and toughening up the beat, but with the same killer riffs!" The one fault with the song could be that it's only half as long as Lamont's original. Fear not, Dr. Horn has edited the track into an extended form, which you can stream or download from Soundcloud. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 2, 2013 - 12 comments

The Art of Anton Kannemeyer

Black Gynaecologist (2008), 'I love the white middle class ...' (2008), Say! if you speak English... (2008).
The works and life of Anton Kannemeyer.
posted by - on Apr 27, 2013 - 21 comments

Insert snappy pun here

With extensive flooding in Limpopo province the army have been called in to rescue residents from 15,000 escaped crocodiles.
posted by roofus on Jan 24, 2013 - 28 comments

Betting on the future

The African King With A Multi-Billion Dollar Empire RBH functions as a communitybased investment company whose primary investment aim is to generate the income required for the funding of sustainable projects. Income generated from RBH’s commercial interests is invested in infrastructural development, as well as in the members of the Nation itself. Over the past decade, more than R4 billion ($475 million) has been spent on roads, utilities, schools, clinics and other public amenities. This has benefited not only the Bafokeng, but other people living in the North West Province of South Africa, the area which the RBN calls home.
posted by infini on Dec 1, 2012 - 5 comments

FATTY BOOM BOOM

Die Antwoord's new video FATTY BOOM BOOM is a bright and colourful African adventure, complete with wild animals, zef savages singing and dancing in the streets, and a special guest appearance by a sneaky little prawn star. (warning: contains ironic blackface)
posted by Tom-B on Oct 17, 2012 - 160 comments

Emptiness

Australian national identity. "Liam Pieper reflects on the shielding that has led to Australian peoples' perpetual ignorance of our true history." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 8, 2012 - 99 comments

Marikana Miners' Strike

Two weeks ago 34 striking miners were shot dead by police at the Marikana platinum mine in South Africa. Now, using laws once used by the apartheid regime to prosecute black activists fighting for democracy, the remaining 270 miners from the protest have been charged with their fellow workers' murders.
posted by dng on Aug 30, 2012 - 33 comments

I'd like to buy the world a giant garbage patch in the ocean

Sodastream will ignore a cease-and-desist letter from Coca-Cola regarding a marketing campaign in South Africa (and ~20 other locations) referred to as "The Cage."
posted by mrgrimm on Jun 19, 2012 - 207 comments

'OK, we are on our emergency plan'

Raising the Dead:'At the bottom of the biggest underwater cave in the world, diving deeper than almost anyone had ever gone, Dave Shaw found the body of a young man who had disappeared ten years earlier. What happened after Shaw promised to go back is nearly unbelievable—unless you believe in ghosts.'
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 17, 2012 - 68 comments

SKA, music to an astronomers ears

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation recently announced a two site approach, in Australia-NZ and Southern Africa, a move that was applauded by the Australian team. Once fully operational in 2024, SKA's one square kilometre collecting area should lead to major advances in astronomy. [more inside]
posted by wilful on May 27, 2012 - 32 comments

You must've heard of a few

The Most Powerful Women You've Never Heard Of [more inside]
posted by vidur on Apr 22, 2012 - 41 comments

Point, Counterpoint

International street artist ABOVE (Wikipedia; Flickr pool; interview from 2009) convinced diamond traders at Johannesburg's Jewel City to let him paint their exterior wall with the phrase "Diamonds Are A Woman's Best Friend" ... but he didn't mention that he would be adding "And A Man's Worst Enemy" to the adjacent wall.
posted by mrgrimm on Apr 10, 2012 - 15 comments

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

The Nelson Mandela Digital Archive has gone live. The archive organizes Mandela’s papers chronologically and thematically. You can jump into sections covering his Early Life, Prison Years, and Presidential Years, or explore his extensive book collections and work with youngsters or see his first recorded interview from 1961. (via)
posted by infini on Mar 29, 2012 - 2 comments

Pan-Sonic Africa

The Pan African Space Station continues to arrive... I previously posted about Chimurenga's Pan African Space Station. Back then they were doing special events, but they opened up a world to innovative and experimental African musical artists. Now the Station has gone live and is broadcasting all night/all day! (Yes, that is a popup radio player...) [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Jan 29, 2012 - 6 comments

The sad truth is that we have a govt that seems intent on turning corruption into a national sport...

Today the South African parliament, dominated by the ANC, passed by a large majority a media law which will restrict and constrain independent journalism in that country. Indeed, the law seems designed to squeeze, chill or eliminate independent reporting. The state is going to be accountable to the state. [George Brock]
[more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Nov 22, 2011 - 17 comments

Basil D'Oliveira

Cricketer Basil D'Oliveira Has Died. "In 1968 he was named in England's squad to tour South Africa which was then cancelled as the ruling National Party refused to accept his presence." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Nov 20, 2011 - 22 comments

A Diamond is Forever, but stock ownership is whole different ballgame

"A momentous and difficult decision for the family which has been in the diamond industry for more than 100 years and part of De Beers for over 80 years" ~ Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of De Beers on the recent announcement of selling the family's interest in De Beers to Anglo American and pulling out of the diamond business.

The Oppenheimers may have ruled the roost for decades, but the company began with Cecil Rhodes, the English-born politician and entrepreneur who went on to found Rhodesia, which was renamed Zimbabwe in 1979 and the Rhodes scholarship scheme to Oxford University.
posted by infini on Nov 7, 2011 - 45 comments

Biker rescues a calf from a canal.

Biker rescues a calf from a canal. [helmet cam POV] [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Oct 26, 2011 - 31 comments

OWL FOND OF EVERYONE

Rescued Owl returns to care for other injured birds (ands one cat)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 9, 2011 - 93 comments

You don't need a visa on Google+

The Dalai Lama was prevented from going to South Africa for Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday by visa problems. So they used Google+ to "Hangout" instead.
posted by desjardins on Oct 8, 2011 - 24 comments

"I just want him to know"

Tennis player and coach Bob Hewitt is a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame who has held all the men's doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. Hewitt, who was born in Australia but became a South African citizen by marriage, also captained the 1974 South African Davis Cup champion team. The Boston Globe reports that Hewitt's lengthy coaching career in the US and South Africa has long been accompanied by allegations that Hewitt sexually abused his female students, mostly adolescents but one as young as 10. Hewitt denies the charges.
posted by catlet on Aug 29, 2011 - 13 comments

"Colonial Africa" themed wedding

An English couple weds in a Colonial Africa themed wedding in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.
posted by illenion on Jul 12, 2011 - 212 comments

"A censor pronouncing a ban, whether on an obscene spectacle or a derisive imitation, is like a man trying to stop his penis from standing up." - J. M. Coetzee

If we have, at the back of our minds, a stereotype of the censor or the censor type, it is probably of some nondescript male bureaucrat who comes to work punctually at 8:30 in the morning, locks his office door behind him, and spends the day going through piles of books, underlining dirty passages in red ink and stamping pass or fail on the cover, or else pouring over strips of film with scissors at the ready, ready to snip out images of breasts and bums, who, when the clock at last strikes 5:00, emerges into the daylight, catches the bus home to some anonymous suburb and spends the evening watching reruns of sitcoms on television before donning his pajamas and falling into a dreamless sleep. Or if we're thinking not of full time censors, people who dedicate their professional lives to the business of censoring, but of part time censors, people who like to do a bit of censoring on the side, then we might imagine that retired teachers, clergymen and moral busybodies in general would be attracted to the craft. But the records of the South African system don't quite fit the stereotype.
- J. M. Coetzee, Nobel laureate author, speaks at his alma mater University of Texas Austin about his experiences with censorship in his native South Africa during apartheid. Coetzee mentions this essay he wrote about his time at UT Austin and a book he wrote on censorship, here's the preface to it.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 11, 2011 - 12 comments

Africa: History, Cartography and Exploration

Evolution of the Map of Africa [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 7, 2011 - 15 comments

The shot that nearly killed me.

In pictures: the life of a war photographer (There are some graphic images in here; not for the squeamish, though for most would be SFW for most workplaces).
posted by smoke on Jul 6, 2011 - 11 comments

Noxolo's name means peace.

'In South Africa's black townships, being gay can be fatal.' 'South Africa has a liberal constitution promising equal rights for all.' 'In a society that is deeply religious, traditional and highly patriarchal, lesbians and gay men contradict the dominant view of African manhood.' 'Across Africa, gay people are threatened, humiliated, raped, beaten, killed, jailed, outed in front-page newspaper stories, condemned by preachers as un-Christian and by politicians and traditional leaders as un-African.' 'In South African townships there's a crime dubbed "corrective rape," rape to "cure" lesbians, and sometimes gay men and transsexuals. They are told they are being taught a lesson: how to be a real woman or man, survivors say.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on May 28, 2011 - 29 comments

South African Afrofuturistic WorldTown Dance Funk

"Who knew township occultism and gangs of South African kids shared something of the pulse of post-punk dirges?" Spoek Mathambo covers Joy Division's "She's Lost Control" and sparks a journey into a world of grimey dub, white suits, musical dissemination via taxi cab, and a potential dash of Black Identity. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Mar 8, 2011 - 52 comments

Cape Town Party/Sixties Style

This is not the South Africa we dream of... (NSFW) "Using a Pentax camera with 35mm focal-length lens, Billy Monk photographed the nightclub revellers and sold the prints to his subjects. His close and long friendships with many of the people in the images allowed him to photograph them with extraordinary intimacy in all their states of joy and sadness. His images of nightlife seem carefree and far away from the scars and segregation of apartheid that fractured this society in the daylight."
posted by artof.mulata on Jan 22, 2011 - 54 comments

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