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Books

'The Mandela Plot' Gives a Crash Course in South African Politics

This tale set in Apartheid South Africa aptly demonstrates the contours of political divisiveness, but unfortunately, the characters are flat.

Recent
Music

But Is It Art? A Look at Pop Culture in South African Music

Contemporary South African popular music reveals a myriad of artists searching for an identity in a country still recovering from racial hatred; and a youth looking to the past in order to make sense of the present.

Music

Various: Shangaan Electro

If you thought Konono No. 1 was the ultimate in high-octane African popular music, think again. This mind-altering music manages to be simultaneously hypnotic and hyper-kinetic.

Music

Amabutho: Sikelela

An album of disciplined rhythmic force.

Music

Various Artists: South Africa

Framed by Putumayo, the Rainbow Nation sounds unified. South Africa presents, not so much a country, as a massive group hug.

Deanne Sole
Reviews

Disgrace is a Complex Examination of Sex, Power and Race Relations in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Watching this film is an intense, often uncomfortable experience, but more than worth it for its nuanced portrayal of a changing country.

Music

Various: Next Stop… Soweto Vol.2

The story of each track is the story of the more direct African-American sounds of funk, groove, soul, and so forth coming up against another kind of music that is alien to them.

Music

BLK JKS: ZOL!

South Africa-based BLK JKS release an EP just in time for the World Cup.

Music

Various Artists: Next Stop... Soweto: Township Sounds from the Golden Age of Mbaqanga

The 20 tracks of this frequently delightful anthology provide further evidence for the importance of the new vinyl archaeology in remembering the African popular past.

Film

Victim's Gay Hero and Modern Marvels of Social Change

No, gays won’t have to march- there are plenty more ways for heroes to come out to battle. What if lynching had gone viral? Remember that Dr. King had no iPhone, hence the distance between Montgomery and Atlanta was enormous, but dwarfed by now the Internet (not to mention I-85).

Reviews

Endgame

Endgame crafts a crackling thriller out of the tangle of crafty maneuvering and happenstance that put a stop to South Africa's apartheid.

Books

The Servants' Quarters by Lynn Freed

Is this worth reading? For lovers of what we might conveniently label “the Jane Eyre genre”, yes.

Books

A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn

A crime novel where the reader is bewildered rather than scheming and conjecturing makes for a lethargic trek.

Music

Vusi Mahlasela: Guiding Star

Though its 16 tracks vary in subject, style, and dynamic, each seems to be an unadulterated cry from Mahlasela's soul.

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