Thursday, 28 December 2017

Continuity versus Change in South Africa's Transition

The launch of A Taste of Bitter Almonds (BestRed, Cape Town, 2015) to a full house at the University of Johannesburg last year was a combined talk that also covered the terrain of my previous book, Drinking with Ghosts (BestRed, Cape Town, 2014) because together, both books describe the dominant narrative of the arc of the "Rainbow Transition" from apartheid autocracy to post-apartheid democracy. That narrative is the "carrier wave" of knowledge of our recent history, but my books, I trust, introduced "new harmonics" to the familiar overall "message" of that history: DWG on the long shadow of the apartheid military-industrial complex; and TBA on conditions of exclusion under democracy. I forgot that I had shot my own extended video of the launch that also - unlike the official UJ Library video, also available on YouTube, which ends prematurely and has some video issues - covers the entire question-and-answer session too, so here it is! The sound isn't as good as the UJ one, though, because they were patched directly into our mics, so if it is indistinct, their version is here (the sound, and my talk, begins at the 5,30-minute mark).