Category: Have your Say

Leaving their mark: names recorded on the walls of the Heerenlogement Cave

Heather MacAlister visited a the ‘Heerenlogement”  (Gentleman’s Lodging) a huge cave on the slopes of the Langeberg Mountains in the Western Cape and was fascinated by the names engraved on the walls of the cave. Picking up on the clues provided by names and dates her post uncovers the stories of some of the many travellers, botanists, astronomers, ministers and missionaries who left their mark there.

The Politics of Memory: A Case Study of the South African Archival Landscape

Jaana Kilkki of the National Archives of Finland visited South Africa as a member of the team of a Swedish Development Corporation Agency (SIDA) funded project between the National Archives of Sweden and the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. In this posts she shares her thoughts on, and insghts into, the South African Archival Landscape.

Records provide the last word in an ongoing family dispute!

Mak (from Makhado) describes a task in which he is required to seek out the records held by the Department of Justice in order to settle a rather messy family dispute.

The TRC and CODESA Failed South Africa: It’s Time We Reflected on This

In this post, first published on the South African Civil Society Information Service website, Frank Meintjies notes that many of the deep-seated social and developmental problesm facing South Africa today link back to the transition processes of the 1990s - including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) - and concludes that, for significant numbers of marginalised South Africans, discussion of a better future begins with the historical view – and with robust discussion of the transition process itself.

Report on a conference on Legacies of the Apartheid Wars in Southern Africa

Chris Saunders reports on the conference which took place at Rhodes University, Grahamstown in July 2013

Healing History: Overcoming Racism, seeking Equity, Building Community

Lucelle Campbell reports on the Caux Initiatives of Change Healing History: Overcoming Racism, seeking Equity, Building Community Conference in which she participated in Switzerland in July 2013. The Conference explored the history and legacy of racism, and considered ways i which communities might work together to build trust, heal wounded memories, reprioritise socio-economic challenges and create cultures of inclusion for the benefit of all.

Is the Archive Ever Enough?

Goa Gaberone, considering the tragic life of Mbuyisa Makhubo, the student carrying the dying Hector Pietersen in Sam Nzima’s iconic photograph, asks, is the archive ever enough?

National Heritage Council embarks on a drive to define the concept of ‘Heritage’.

“Heritage is what is preserved from the past as the living collective memory of a people not only to inform the present about the past but also to equip successive generations to fashion their future. It is what creates a sense of identity and assures rootedness and continuity, so that what is brought out by dynamism of culture is not changed for its own sake, but it is a result of people’s conscious choice to create a better life.” Send your comments on this definition to the National Heritage Council!

Democracy is the freedom to change your mind!

Extract from a speech delivered by Helen Zille at the Democratic Alliance’s Freedom Day Celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal, 27 April 2013

Zille’s poaching of our history

In an article published on Politicsweb, Phatse Justice Piitso accuses the DA of ‘poaching the history of the struggles of our people’ aiming, as always, ‘to protect privileges accumulated by whites under apartheid’.

The role of interpreters in facilitating colonial conquest –Malinche, Pocahontas and Krotoa

Responding to an earlier post by Lucy Campbell, Kobus Faasen compares the lives of three prominent indigenous women who were introduced to “the people from the sea” at an early age. Malinche (modern-day Mexico), Pocahontas (Jamestown, North America) and Krotoa (Cape of Good Hope, South Africa).

Dispossessed, evicted and ruined

In the year in which South Africans mark the centenary of the iniquitous Natives’ Land Act, this poignant post, circulated to subscribers on Ben Khumalo-Seegelken’s mailing list,is a timely reminder of the traumatic impact of forced removals on individuals and their families.

Moshoeshoe’s legacy revived

Sebinane Lekoekoe comments on the celebrations that mark Moshoeshoe Day and shares information about this important king and other figures that have led the Basotho nation since his time.

Hidden voices: art and the erasure of memory in post-apartheid South Africa

Emile Maurice reports on a panel discussion focusing on the question, ‘What do we mean by ‘hidden voices’  in the arts after apartheid”. Convened by the Iziko South African National Gallery and the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, the discussion was sparked by the exhibition “Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Archive”.