Media postgraduates’ sprint through data to tackle spatial inequality

Tue, 2017-06-13 14:10 -- 01401867

Quick and dirty are not usually adjectives you want to associate with your research. But it has proven an apt description for the work of – and deliberate tactic by – postgraduate students from the Centre for Film & Media Studies, who investigated the media’s role in tackling spatial inequality in Cape Town.


The “Dark Side”: Popular Politics and the Question of Democratic Violence

Wed, 2017-08-23 13:00
The Department of Religious Studies invites you to a seminar by Dr Ruchi Chaturvedi, entitled, "The “Dark Side”:  Popular Politics and the Question of Democratic Violence".  Ruchi Chaturvedi received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University and an M. Phil in Sociology from University of Delhi. She has taught at the City University of New York and Makerere Institute of Social Research. Ruchi’s research focuses on questions of political violence, popular politics and its contentious relationship with the ideology and institutions of liberal democracy. Her writings have revolved around a long-running violent conflict between local level political workers of the Marxist Left and Hindu Right in Kerala, South India. This presentation revolves around community protests and violent contests between members of various political groups in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. Central to it is what Partha Chatterjee as well as Karl von Holdt, Langa et al. describe as the “dark side” of political society and insurgent citizenship: namely, the often-times collective and sometimes individualized violence that has characterized popular and party politics in various postcolonial states. I read this violence through critiques of liberal equality and democracy articulated especially in the Nigerian political theorist Claude Ake’s work, and in the historian Ajay Skaria’s analysis of Gandhi’s writings. Seen through these lenses, the violent dark side of political society and insurgent citizenship comes into view as an aspect of a shared postcolonial democratic inheritance. I describe the relationship between this modern democratic inheritance, the modes of enacting and organizing power that have emerged in its wake, and collective and inter-party violence. I conclude with the problem of recasting this democratic bequest that haunts Ake’s analysis as much as it does Gandhi’s.

Colonial Cinema and Decolonisation in South Africa

Tue, 2017-06-13 13:00
Dr Ian-Malcolm Rijsdijk, will present the Department of Film & Media Studies seminar with a talk entitled,  "Colonial Cinema and Decolonisation in South Africa".

Corruption in South Africa: A Poet’s Lament

Thu, 2017-06-08 13:00
The Department of Religious Studies and the Centre for Contemporary Islam will hosting a talk by South African poet and Black Consciousness activist Don Mattera  entitled, "Corruption in South Africa: A Poet’s Lament".   D. F. Mattera has published various collections of poetry and an autobiography, Memory is the Weapon, which received the Steve Biko Prize. He has worked as a journalist for The Sunday Times, The Weekly Mail, now Mail & Guardian and The Sowetan. He holds an honorary Doctorate degree in Literature (DLit) from the University of Natal, and has received fellowships in Sweden and the U.S. Mattera continues to work with street children in the Eldorado community.   Corruption in South Africa: A Poet’s Lament Donato Francisco Mattera was born in 1935 in Western Native Township, now called Westbury, Johannesburg. He grew up in the mixed area of Johannesburg called Sophiatown before the apartheid government moved his family to Westbury, an area earmarked for people classified as “Coloured” by the apartheid government. During his formative years, Mattera became involved with gangsterism, eventually becoming the leader of the most notorious gang group called the Vultures. It was during the campaign against the removals of Black, Coloured, and Indians from Sophiatown that Mattera became more aware of the political dimension of his life. In the early 1970s he became involved in the politics of Black Consciousness, and helped to form the Union of Black Journalists, as well as the Congress of South African writers. From 1973 to 1982, the South African government banned him. Following this period, he became a member of the National Forum, which was against what it referred to as the “racial exclusivity” of the United Democratic Front.  

Transnational Assistance: Danish and Norwegian Migration to South Africa 1876 - 1882

Mon, 2017-06-12 13:00
Rasmus Bitsch will present the Department of Historical Studies seminar with a talk entitled, "Transnational Assistance: Danish and Norwegian Migration to South Africa 1876 - 1882 " Rasmus Bitsch finished his bachelors in History at the University of Roskilde in Denmark in 2012. Since then he has worked as a journalist and documentary producer working primarily in Denmark and South Africa, where he has lived since 2014. His work has been in the intersection between history and journalism and has shared a thematic focus on transformation through movement, memory, historiography and identity. Amongst other things, Rasmus is the editor of The Sound Africa podcast dealing with current as well as historical themes in a longform documentary format, he is the author of a book about traumatised Danish soldiers who, having fought in Afghanistan, now seeks healing in the Peruvian Amazon and he is a correspondent and documentary producer for Danish national public radio and several newspapers primarily in Scandinavia.   

Law(s), Land and Women in the context of South Africa’s past, present and future

Mon, 2017-06-12 13:00
Nolundi Luwaya from the Centre for Law and Society, UCT, will present the Sociology Series lecture with a talk entitled,  "Law(s), Land and Women in the context of South Africa’s past, present and future".  Abstract: My seminar presentation aims to engage with the broader questions of the appropriateness of current legal interventions in securing the land tenure rights of rural South Africans, particularly black women living in rural areas. I aim to do this by grappling with laws role in constructing ideas of customary land tenure, the bantustans (former homelands) and black women’s status under ‘official’ African Customary Law. The discussion of this architecture goes on to inform an analysis of the current legal interventions which are then juxtaposed with practice and adaptations emerging from rural communities. The presentation concludes with some questions and remarks about the role, ability (and appropriateness) of law to (de)construct in order to protect the land tenure rights of black women in rural South Africa.   Nolundi Luwaya returned to the Centre for Law and Society as a researcher in 2017. She has a BA (English, Sociology and Law) and an LLB from the University of Cape Town. In 2012 she joined the Law, Race and Gender Unit (LRG) as a junior researcher where she worked on the Unit’s campaign on the Traditional Courts Bill. The LRG then became the Centre for Law and Society and from  2013 – 2015 Nolundi was the Programme Coordinator of the Rural Women’s Action Research Programme (RWAR) based within CLS. In this position she worked extensively with rural community based organisations and NGO’s on issues connected to citizenship rights, land rights and nuanced understandings of Customary Law within our Constitutional Democracy. In 2016 the RWAR became the Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC) where Nolundi was the Deputy Director. Her work at LARC focussed on providing support to the Alliance for Rural Democracy, a loose alliance of community based organisations and NGO’s working on issues of land and traditional governance impacting on the rights of rural South Africans. Nolundi has a particular interest in the struggles and strategies of women living in rural South Africa, and in what these strategies for transforming their particular circumstances can teach us about transformation and change on a societal level. - See more at:  

Langebaanweg, a fresh perspective: Sedimentology and taphonomy of test pit excavations

Tue, 2017-06-06 13:00
Brigette Cohen will present the Department of Archaeology seminar with a talk entitled,  "Langebaanweg, a fresh perspective: Sedimentology and taphonomy of test pit excavations".  She will summarise work done for her PhD

Global National Populist Movements and Moments: Xenophobia in South Africa

Tue, 2017-06-06 13:00
Herman Wasserman and Tanja Bosch will present a paper on "Global National Populist Movements and Moments: Xenophobia in South Africa". In 1994, South Africa became a new nation after the country’s first democratic elections and inaugurated as the 'Rainbow Nation' by Nelson Mandela, representing a fundamental shift in the social, political and geographical landscapes of the past. But in recent years, the resurgence of a new wave of ethnic ‘nationalism’ has resulted in a narrow racist and xenophobic articulation of the nation, with the ‘other’ (foreigner) subjected to high levels of violence. While violence and discrimination against foreign African nationals was a feature of the pre-apartheid landscape, xenophobia increased sharply in the post-1994 era. Not only have these conflicts been experienced by the numerous victims and perpetrators; they have been mediated affairs for many, especially in 2008 and 2015. While conflicts often began in one part of the country, they spread rapidly partly as a result of the reporting of these events. Graphic images of violent attacks on foreign Africans included photographs of knife- and stick-wielding perpetrators, injured victims, burning shops and houses. Previous research has shown that South Africans hold strong negative views towards migrants, and that the mainstream media, while coming under increased scrutiny post-Apartheid, often fuel the conflict with inflammatory language and biased coverage.  This paper explores the role of the media in the xenophobic violence, sharing data from a quantitative content analysis of print media, as well as interviews with journalists and activists. Moreover, the paper reflects on the rise of xenophobic violence within the global context of the rise of ‘new nationalisms’. Eats will be available in A205 from 12h30   

Saving the Saviours? Confronting Conservation's Underbellies

Fri, 2017-06-02 12:45
The Environmental Humanities South invites you to the seminar entitled,  "Saving the Saviours? Confronting Conservation's Underbellies". This seminar will be presented by  Frank Matose (Sociology and Environmental Humanities South, UCT) Bram Büscher (Sociology of Development and Change group, Wageningen University) Maano Ramutsindela (Environmental and Geographical Science, UCT) It is in the interest of conservation to engage honestly with its dark sides. We take the South African rhino-poaching crisis as a specific example to discus why this is crucial to move conservation forward.  Protected areas around the world are understood by society as the fruits of conservation efforts, often championed by individuals and organizations concerned with saving nature from all kinds of threats. This makes conservation appear like a benign affair; yet the history of conservation is replete with the systematic removal and killing of people, corruption, violence and other forms of dubious power-play. This is obviously not peculiar to conservation, but often deliberately hidden for fears of damaging conservation’s altruistic ideals, visions and (self-)image. We caution that by not confronting these underbellies openly, conservation risks many things, including its public legitimacy but also opportunities for learning and potential improvement. In this panel we aim to confront the question of what conservation could do in order to make these discussions more common and open.