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Archive for September, 2008

No need to panic. No revolution or liberation wars on US shores. Yet.

Just literary heads, film and music in honor of The Chimurenga Library at The Kitchen in Chelsea on the West Side of Manhattan.

Flavorpill has the summary here. And here‘s a link to the original notice.

See you there.

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First up BagNewsNotes.

“A progressive blog dedicated to visual politics, the analysis of news images, and the support of ‘concerned photojournalism.”

I love this site — despite it being overly American-centric — as a media scholar and as someone obsessed with politics. I’ve been a fan since it started in mid-2003

Here’s the site.

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Filmmaker Astra Taylor continues her obsession with philosophers with her new documentary, “Examined Life.” Last time she followed Slavoj Zizek around. The new film includes interviews with Cornel West (in this clip), Avital Ronell, Peter Singer, Ghanaian-born Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt, Judith Butler, and Slavoj Zizek (again). Here‘s a blogpost by Taylor (who I knew briefly a few years ago) written for the Toronto Film Festival’s website as well as the film’s website.

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Slideshow of Araminta de Clermont’s photographs of tattooed prisoners and ex-convictis in Cape Town, South Africa on the Guardian’s website. Photographing ex-cons (mainly black men) in Cape Town is somewhat of a trope that not just confirm deep seated prejudices, but also comes with rewards on the art circuit. So I am not always sure what to make of this kind of photography.

The rest here.

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Thabo Mbeki — unceremoniously dumped by his party as South Africa’s President last weekend — was routinely referred to by George W. Bush as his “point man” in Africa. For the leading member of a movement with historical ties to the Soviet Union that until recently was on the State Department’s terrorist watch list, Mbeki enjoyed an unusually close relationship with the Bush Administration. It probably had less to do with any ideological convergence than the fact the US needed someone to work as well as with the African National Congress‘s own transformation from a liberation movement to a conventional political party.

Made my Huffington Post debut today.

Read the rest here.

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“One of the great ironies is that Zuma [now] sounds like a U.S. Republican … He wants tougher action against crime and freer markets. Any white person in the suburbs who’s listening and getting alarmed is clearly just feeding off prejudice.”

That’s Stephen Friedman, a newspaper columnist and a research associate at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (I used to work for them) quoted in a long profile story in Newsweek by the magazine’s South African correspondent, Scott Johnson.

Further down in the story, Don Mkwanazi, chairman of the “Friends of Jacob Zuma,” an organization “that aims to raise several millions for the leader’s legal defense,” must have taken to heart another of the Republicans’ other legacies, pretending there’s something uniquely African about it:

“… In African culture, if I give Zuma a gift, it’s normal; it’s not a bribe. Some of my own white colleagues think Zuma is tainted, but not the majority of black South Africans. This is not London or Geneva—this is Africa.”

Read it here.

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I finally got around (on the subway, in a bus, waiting for my daughter after preschool, etc) to reading the edited volume A City Imagined. It’s a collection of short essays about Cape Town edited by Stephen Watson. The publisher (and Watson in the introduction) claims that the “… range of voices is wide, the angles of vision many” and that the portrait of the city is “infinitely more various, heterogeneous, complex even in its beauty, than that to be found in the standard treatments of the place.” Apart from the small (sic) matter that 16 of the 18 contributors are white, I found the writing a let down and just another “standard treatment” of the city. That’s with the exception of Jeremy Cronin’s contribution on his youth in Simon’s Town.  That’s probably the only thing worth reading. I love Cape Town.

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