South Africa is not a place where keeping a distance from one another matches the traditions of how communities have survived and thrived for generations. But since March of this year, the nation has lived with restrictions, lockdowns, closures and limits of social activities familiar to many people around the world. Meanwhile, the ongoing struggle with gender based violence rages on, though it is not clear if this is a new chapter with real change on the horizon or just a continuation of injustice as usual.
Identity. Land. Displacement. Trauma. History. Struggle. Fear. Anger. Future. Environment. Income. Danger. Knowledge. Loss. Curiousity. Safety.
These are a few of the words that came to mind listening back to this very special round table discussion recorded in South Africa with 3 South African friends. The major topic was identity in this age of information. From the city to the rural areas. From the past to the present and beyond, we discuss what is happening for many people around the topic of identity. This was a spontaneous, beautiful conversation recorded a few weeks ago at the V4C gathering in Boschendaal. Furthermore, as our dear guests ask at the end of the program, it would really mean something to hear back from you about what you think, feel and experience around these issues.
This month I had the great honor of being present at the Video 4 Change gathering in South Africa. This meeting brought together indigenous activists from different parts of the continent, as well as allies and friends from the rest of the world. The topic: the struggle for indigenous rights in a globalized world where in the name of profit and development, people who have long lived in harmony with their environment are being forced to discard their identity and physically pulled from their ancestral land. How is this happening in an era of sustainable development goals and human rights? What can be done to help communities defend themselves and be heard on a national and international scale?
Last month there was a big to-do in South Africa over an art piece by Brett Murray, depicting president Jacob Zuma posing in a Lenin-style look to the future along with his penis being clearly visible. Protesters have called it everything from disrespectful to racist,…