Monday, December 26, 2005

The Kwaito Generation : Inside Out :: A production of 90.9 WBUR Boston, MA

The Kwaito Generation : Inside Out :: A production of 90.9 WBUR Boston, MA It feels like I've been off-line for ages. I am on holiday, a holiday that has been long in coming, and I am taking the opportunity to really rest for the first time in ages. Still, I do miss my online life, and so tonight I bit the bullet, gritted my teeth as the high cost of cellphone internet access ate into my tight budget, and decided to blog this fabulous website. I am developing an increasing fascination with Kwaito, partly because of the claims of connections between this South African genre, and Hip-hop. It is very fashionable to study kwaito at present, and I am not a follower of fashion, but for my own interest, it is worth pursuing. This website offers some interesting commentary on the genre, and SA society in general.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Google Blog Search: "south african" white

Google Blog Search: "south african" white I often back-track through my blog stats to see how people who visit me find me, and how high up on searches I occur. This particular trackback lead me to some terrifying things like this, and this. On the other hand, I also ran across this and this, which gave me pause to think. I am a die-hard South African, but I do get fearful. Especially when I realize that my chances of gaining financial assistance, or a job in academia, in this country, are decreasing. There is an interesting section in this book, that I linked to in September, about the benefits of affirmitive action. This was written by the past president of the SRC at our university. I am unsure what to think. I am tempted to just say "make up your own minds", but I don't think it is that simple. I spent today walking in one of the most beautiful nature reserves near my home. It is maintained using money that is not being used to provide several hundred pregnant women with anti-retrovirals. It is money which is not being used to pay for several student's education. It is money which is not being used to buy one farm from a white farmer as part of the land redistribution program. But without it, what do we have? if we destroy all these natural resources, we are diminishing our countrie's ability to support those children saved by the antiretrovirals. I don't know how to solve these things. I do know that I am willing to keep trying. I don't want to stop trying. This is my home. I am a white South African.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

see jane in the academy: for the greater good.

This post got me all emotional, because it makes so much sense, but is so lacking. I have had the most superb mentor, and have been incredibly luck with the support I have received from several people, but at the same time, I have encountered my share of academic hipocrites, and every time it makes me ask "why". If you don't think like the author of the above post does, then why teach? and if you don't want to teach, don't get into academics. Or at the very least, back off, and let those who do teach do their jobs without hinderance. Someone I respect said recently that being an academic is a vocation, not a career. It makes so much sense.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy I don't know whether I have blogged this before, or not, but either way, it is a useful resource.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

World History Archives: The contemporary political history of the Republic of South Africa

World History Archives: The contemporary political history of the Republic of South Africa I had some difficulties with the South African history section of my honours project, so this is part of an attempt to gain a better understanding of South African political history.

Friday, December 09, 2005

White Africans

There was an interesting, though somwehat troubling article and response in yesterday's Mail and Guardian, under the headline "How to be a White African". It was an extract from the book The White Africans by Gerald L'Ange. What worried me about it was that although both the article and the response pretended to be liberal and inclusive, the extent to which they expressed a concern with classification and difference made me wonder how we are ever to move beyond it. I get that there is still a massively uneven distribution of wealth and resources, and there are still a shocking percentage of racists around, but classifying a person as priveleged, wealthy and racist because they are white is equivalent to classifying them as poor, uneducated and criminal because they are black. These stereotypes are the real problem. I have sung choral music in African languages. I teach this music to my choir, and wrestle with issues of authenticity every time I do. Does that make me African? There is an entirely black choir on the television in front of me right this moment singing "Benedictus" from some or another mass. It is in latin. Does that make them not African? Does the fact that I choose to attend the Christmas concerts of Chantecleer and the Welsh Male-Voice choir rather than Afro-tenor make me not African? and if I'm not African, what am I? I speak English, but so does everyone at my university. I don't speak any other european language, but I do speak Afrikaans. I don't speak an nguni language, though. So what does that make me? I'm going to further my studies in the United States next year. A friend of mine is planning to do the same. For her, it is a way out of South Africa. For me it is a way in. I'm going to the united states because I need to be a highly qualified and capable an academic as possible in order to come back to South Africa to work. No matter what anyone says, this is where I want to be. And I don't just want to be here, and fool around. I want to contribute. I want to make a difference. and yet this article suggests that "any group of ‘outside educators’ who had grown up and been educated in a privileged situation where teachers are educated by former European systems, curricula and processes and those elites who travel to Europe, North America and overseas to continue an elite education, are distanced from the people they might, hopefully, return home to teach." So what is one really supposed to do. I don't really want to leave, but I feel that I have to if I am to make this career work. Does that make me disloyal to Africa? does that make me not an African?

Meditations71 writes about seeing South Africa through Western Eyes

Thursday, December 08, 2005

SA ePublications | MUZIKI

SA ePublications | MUZIKI My dear friend Steph just had a paper she wrote solicited by this journal. I am so thrilled, I can't stop grinning. Congratulations, love. You worked so hard, and you really deserve this. I hope it is the first of many.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 From Conscious Hip Hop to Racism in the Jazz Age. From Conscious Hip Hop to Racism in the Jazz Age. This is an interesting comment from someone else who linked to the same Village voice hip-hop article I linked to a few days ago. Some interesting commentry about music and politics. A friend of mine edited a special issue of a local journal recently, that deals with music and politics. Will link to it when it comes out

[[----WISER----]] - Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research

[[----WISER----]] - Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research

ZA@PLAY - MOVIES: Putting words into action 09/04/98

ZA@PLAY - MOVIES: Putting words into action 09/04/98 This is a script-writing workshop run by a friend of mine. It has been going for several years. Will link to their official website when it's up and running.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Six degrees of Wikipedia

Six degrees of Wikipedia This is enormously fun, and surprisingly informative. It lets you view the shortest path between any two topics in Wikipedia. Try typing in "Blogging" and "Choral Music". The results are interesting. It is usually difficult to find anything separated by five or six degrees.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

village voice > music > by Bakari Kitwana

village voice > music > by Bakari Kitwana This is somewhat amusing. It seems that black-consciousness hip-hop has recently been developing an almost entirely white audience. Somewhat unexpected, but worth reading