Undoing Apartheid, a conversation with the author Premesh Lalu (University of the Western Cape), Su-Ming Khoon (University of Galway), Heidi Grunebaum (University of the Western Cape), Garth Stevens (University of the Witwatersrand).
Post-apartheid South Africa still struggles to overcome the past, not just because the material conditions of apartheid linger but because the intellectual conditions it created have not been thoroughly dismantled. The system of ‘petty apartheid’, which controlled the minutia of everyday life, became a means of dragooning human beings into adapting to increasingly mechanized forms of life that stifle desire and creative endeavor. As a result, apartheid is incessantly repeated in the struggle to move beyond it. In Undoing Apartheid, Premesh Lalu argues that only an aesthetic education can lead to a future beyond apartheid. To find ways to escape the vicious cycle, he traces the patterns created by three theatrical works by William Kentridge, Jane Taylor, and the Handspring Puppet Company – Faustus in Africa, Woyzeck on the Highveld, and Ubu and the Truth Commission – which coincided with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid. Through the analysis of these works, Lalu uncovers the roots of modern thinking about race and affirms the need to revitalize a post-apartheid reconciliation endowed with truth – if only to keep alive the rhyme of hope and history.
Critical South, a book series of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs published by Polity, aims to galvanize cross-regional conversations and expand the spatial-temporal, linguistic sense of contemporary critical theory. The series publishes texts from important traditions in critical thought emerging from the southern hemisphere that have generally not entered into discussions of critical theory in English, translating works that redefine the global scope and foci of critical thought for the present.
Presented by the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California, Berkeley. Co-sponsored by the CHR, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
The CHR fellowship programme will continue in 2022 through online platforms and, where permitted, limited live events hosted in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Please follow our events page for updates about events.