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Exit/Exist

Gregory Maqoma/Vuyani Dance Theatre, REDCAT November 7-10, 2013 — The theatre’s house lights fade to black and audience chatter quickly subsides. Music begins—a trance beat, the brisk playing of a guitar and a quiet electronic pulse; the sound is Indian, African and middle-eastern in flavor.  Small spotlights direct our eyes downstage, center, where a black man wearing a gold sharkskin suit stands with his back to us. He is barefoot. In a moment, he begins to move in sync with the music and his joyous energy soon makes us believe he will never stop moving. The dancer is Gregory Maqoma and he is astonishing. In the first several minutes of his performance piece, Exit/Exist, we never really see his face. His movements begin slowly … [Read more...]

A Well of Conspiracy

The Tall Assassin, A Discussion with Author and Former SAPF Alan Elsdon   — The Year is 1942, Republic of South Africa. The Emergency Regulations Act, designed by General Smuts to curb pro-Nazi activities, had begun to bite at the ankles of the Ossewabrandwag membership list. The rounding up of Afrikaners and Nazi Auslanders into prison camps may have averted a civil war, but it also brought together many of the day's anti-democratic minds, and there they talked and fomented South Africa's future. At one such camp, Koffiefontein, there were interred together two men who would go on to shape the history of the country as few others would, one on the political stage and the other behind the scenes. The former, John Vorster, is well known. … [Read more...]

Viva Verwoerd?

Nick Broomfield’s South African documentaries: “The Leader, His Driver and the Driver’s Wife”and “His Big White Self”, Metronome DVD (Region 2) ©2006 –  It was the endtimes of a fatuous delusion—the casting of a dream and the narrowing of a nightmare; the sluicing of whites-only beaches and blacks-only townships, and the opening of arms caches on Transvaal sugarcane farms; it was a time of ANC pub bombs, and meetings of obscure Afrikaner insurgents in restaurant basements to chart the overthrow of F.W. de Klerk, and germ attacks on expensive hotels, It was a time when women wore the Black Sash and police informants wore the Necklace; when mobs who could still hear the echoes of Sharpsville paced the streets of Durban; when … [Read more...]