UPRIZE! – The Youth of ’76 and the world that made them

On the morning of 16 June 1976, a group of school children in Soweto gathered peacefully to protest the mandatory inclusion of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. By nightfall a considerable number of them lay dead, mowed down by Apartheid armed forces. More than four decades later, this film looks at the world that made these school children, and how in the absence of political leadership, they stood up to the might of an oppressive state. Speaking to artists, writers, musicians, teachers that inspired them, and some former student leaders themselves, we get a glimpse into the 1970s South Africa and the cost of the fight for quality education and freedom. UPRIZE goes beyond that singular image the world saw of Hector Pieterson and paints a much broader picture of the prevailing ideas that sparked such widespread protest.

Thursday 13 June 2019
@18.00-20.00
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education at Bertha House
67-69 Main Road, Mowbray, Cape Town
RSVP is essential as places are limited: info@tshisimani.org.za or (021) 685 3516

The film will be followed by a facilitated discussion with director Sifiso Khanyile.

Please note: These films are not suitable for children under the ages of 13 and they will not be admitted into the cinema.

The Land Debate: Is Nationalisation and State Custodianship the Solution?

In response to the slow pace of land redistribution and the failures of restitution in South Africa, calls have come up for nationalisation and state ownership or custodianship of land. In a seminar to contribute to discussions on tenure systems that will guarantee secure rights of use and access of land to ordinary people, Tshisimani hosts Mandisa Shandu and BoaventuraMonjane. Shandu who is the co-director and attorney at Ndifuna Ukwazi will speak on how the City of Cape Town’s ownership of public land is not translating to prioritisation of redistribution and inclusive spatial development. Mozambican journalist and land activist Monjane will present on how despite state ownership of land in Mozambique, arrangements that favour private and multinational land interest groups have crept in.

 

Tuesday 04 June 2019

18.00-20.00

Bertha House, 67-69 Main Road, Mowbray, Cape Town

RSVP by Monday 03 June to info@tshisimani.org.za or (021) 685 3516

Encounters Documentary Fest: Village vs Empire, Tidal & Beyond the Frontlines

Village vs Empire
(screens with Tidal – short film)

14:00

Dir. Mark J Kaplan

2018 | South Africa | Norway | South Korea | 68min

Village versus Empire (2016) is set on Jeju Island, off the coast of the Korean Peninsula – one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Nature’, and known as The Island of Stone,  Peace Island and a Woman’s Island -a place of beauty and wonder, with more UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites than any single geographic location on planet earth.

 

But, there is trouble in this paradise. It is being transformed – militarised. Its fragile ecology and ancient shamanistic traditions are currently being devastated by the construction of a US naval base that is perceived by the islanders as a globally dangerous provocation which imperils the island’s future and masks its troubled history. Village versus Empire, dramatizes the threat to Island life and nature, through the performances of an artist, Dohee Lee, born on the island and deeply troubled by its transformation, the activists who contest its occupation, the residents who have lived through its changes and the archive through which its traumatic past is uncovered.

Tidal

Director: Trygve Heide

2018 | South Africa | 27 minutes

It was hard, to say the least, for Lisa Beasley following a near-fatal BASE jumping accident. Since her accident, Lisa’s love for the ocean and its life has allowed her to heal. Diving has allowed her to, once again, feel free and limitless as she tries to conserve marine life.

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Frontlines:  Tales of Resistance and Resilience from Palestine

16:00

Director: Alexandra Dols

2017 | France| Palestine | 114 min.

Through the work of Dr Samah Jabr, a psychiatrist and writer at the An-Najah University in Nablus Palestine we view the appalling conditions suffered by the inhabitants of Palestine from an analysis of constant containment, uncertainty and violence. Dr Jabr is an impressive mental health advocate and when she is on screen her measured and empathetic tones are hypnotic. The French director Alexandra Dols has worked with Dr Jabr over many years and has published some of her books. Meticulously filmed, Dols is a documentary filmmaker of astounding skill and the film presents a picture of a living Hell for a population under violent occupation. British filmmaker, Ken Loach (director of Cannes Grand Prix winners When the Wind Shakes the Barley and I Daniel Blake) has come out strongly in support of the film. He says “Dr Samah Jabr is a wise and thoughtful woman. Alexandra Dols’ film shares her insights with us, generous, humane and deeply disturbing. Please see this film!”

Awards/Festivals:

Winner of the Sunbird Documentary Award Palestine – 2017

SOAS University Palestine UK Mental Health Network London – 2017

Days of Cinema – FilmLab Palestine 2017 – Best documentary

Encounters Documentary Fest: Cold Case Hammarskjöld; Dying for Gold & Stroop

Cold Case Hammarskjöld

10:00

Director: Mads Brugger

2018 |  Denmark | Norway | Sweden | 128 min.

Danish investigative journalist, filmmaker and TV host, Mads Brügger is infamous for his ironic and incisive trawling of the dirtiest of the tainted and the corrupt. In 2011, his documentary The Ambassador was about the trading of diplomatic titles in Africa. Brügger impersonated a Liberian ambassador by purchasing his new identity on the black market. Now he is back in Africa with guns blazing on the trail of the plotters and murderers of UN Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961. The dirt he uncovers should be creating a stench from London to South Africa via Belgium. In January this year Brügger reported on the Hammarskjöld assassination and the skein of intrigue among the highest organs of government in The Guardian in London. A film of great importance. Miss it at your peril.

Dying for Gold

14:00

Directors: Catherine Meyburgh & Richard Pakleppa

2018 | South Africa | 99min

Billed as “the untold story of the making of South Africa”, this devastating documentary explores the numerous ways in which the mining industry was a key force in shaping apartheid South Africa. For more than a century, hundreds of thousands of black men from Sub-Saharan Africa have been leaving their families to dig for gold and produce South Africa’s key source of wealth. Featuring a rich archive of footage from the colonial and apartheid eras, along with interviews with gold miners whose lives have been decimated by silicosis and tuberculosis, the film clearly shows how Southern Africa’s indigenous societies were destroyed in order to create a pool of cheap surplus labour that mined some of the world’s richest deposits of gold at the cheapest possible price.

Stroop: Journey into the Rhino Horn War

16:00

Director: Susan Scott

2018 | South Africa | USA | 134min

As gripping and gruelling as the best of thrillers, two inexperienced female filmmakers go in search of answers to the random slaughter of the world’s diminishing rhino population. The film is divided neatly in half -the slaughter itself and the attempts by rangers, governments and paramilitary units to do battle with the poachers and, a second half where the filmmakers journey to Vietnam, China and Laos tracing where the mutilated cargo (more expensive than cocaine) finds buyers and entrepreneurs only too willing to keep the trade going. The specious belief in the curative properties of rhino goes back hundreds of years in the East and there are those willing to swear to its efficacity. A monumental work by a very brave pair.

 

History of ANC economic thinking: implications for policy over the next 5 years

Vishnu Padayachee speaks onthe evolution of the ANC’s economic and social policies and the implications for the next period of the organisation’s U-turn from social-democratic policies to the market-driven approaches that occurred in the 1990s.

Padayachee is a Distinguished Professor and Chair in Development Economics in the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand and former board member of the South African Reserve Bank.

Tuesday 14 May 2019
18h00-20h30
Bertha House
67-69 Main Road Mowbray

 

RSVP to info@tshisimani.org.za or (021) 685 3516

#RethinkingFreedom: Challenges to Freedom

The world in 2019 looks like an ugly place. Right-wing authoritarianism is on the rise and rides on waves of popular discontent and disillusionment with failed neoliberal policies and mainstream politics. In different parts of the world, right-wing leaders are ascending to power through the use of popular instruments like the vote. Fake news and misinformation are integral parts of the strategies used to cement this ugly world. Walls are going up and a politics of exclusion has gained prominence. The climate crisis continues and corporate power is seemingly invincible. The disappointments and near-collapse of left governments contributes to a climate of cynicism and despondency. But, attempts to change the world and win freedom have not ceased. In many places, people are waging a push-back against the climate crisis, closure of democratic space, rising inequalities, militarisation, racism and hate-fuelled politics. Rethinking Freedom is a course designed to grapple with the realities of fighting for the attainment of freedom in this time of uncertainty. Tying the course together are key questions:

  • What does freedom look like today?
  • What are the constraints and limitations to freedom today?
  • What kinds of strategies are on the table for those seeking to be free today?
  • What are the different imaginations of the future being crafted in these struggles?

Participants in the course will consider these questions, locate them historically and look at their theoretical underpinnings.

What Is Democracy?

Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, What Is Democracy? reflects on a word we too often take for granted.

Director Astra Taylor’s idiosyncratic, philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the gr
owing gap between rich and poor.

Featuring a diverse cast—including celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, and former prime ministers—this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means.

Please note: These films are not suitable for children under the age of 13 and they will not be admitted to the cinema

 

Thursday 02 May 2019 @18:00 until 20:30
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education at Bertha House 67-69 Main Road
Mowbray, Cape Town

Please RSVP for catering purposes to info@tshisimani.org.za
or 021 685 3516/8

 

 

Jazz & Freedom

With its roots firmly implanted in the quest for freedom, jazz reflects how liberty can be won and lost. As a form of improvised music, jazz also demonstrates how freedom requires ongoing expansion, innovation and continuous extension of its frontiers. To mark the 25thanniversary of the advent of democracy in South Africa, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, Jazz in the Native Yards (JiNY) and the Interdisciplinary Forum for Popular Music (ifPOP) are hosting a session with saxophonist Salim Washingtonand pianist Afrika Mkhize. The two will give a presentation accompanied by sonic demonstrations on how the search for freedom in jazz is not only found in the music’s history but is intrinsic to the art form.

Thurs 25 April 2019
19:00–21:00 (Snacks will be served at 18.30)

Fismer Hall, Konservatorium
Cnr. Neethling and Victoria Streets,
University of Stellenbosch

RSVP by Wed 24 April to info@tshisimani.org.za or (021) 685 3516

The Crossing

This film is a first-hand account of the perilous journey of a group of Syrian refugees fleeing war and persecution. Traversing land and sea on an old fishing boat manned by smugglers, their nail-biting journey leads to Europe, where they learn that the hardest part still lies ahead. Each must battle to stay sane and create an identity within the maze of regulations and refugee hostels. Months of uncertainty – waiting and living in one center after another – takes its toll on their spirits. They have to confront what it means to be a “refugee” and try to rekindle the greatest thing they have lost: hope. The Crossing takes us along one of the most dangerous journeys of our time, and shows the lengths to which people will go to find safety and forge their own destiny. (55 mins)

Screening with:

FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS

by Davison Mudzwinga

This is a film about a family struggling to survive as refugees escaping the civil war that reignited in Mozambique in 2013. Moses Mukukuri, 29, and his family seek refuge on the border with neighboring Zimbabwe. In this new country, they find themselves between a rock and a hard place as they struggle to survive and make a future of their children. (14 mins)

The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Please note: These films are not suitable for children under the age of 13 and they will not be admitted into the cinema.

Wednesday 10 April 2019 @18:00 – 20:30
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education at Bertha House
67-69 Main Road,
Mowbray, Cape Town
RSVP is essential as places are limited: 021 685 3516/8 or info@tshisimani.org.za

Party manifestos on land: Ukuza kukaNxele?

Almost every South African political party that is contesting elections in May has some reference to land in its manifesto. In a Tshisimani public seminar, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi will look at the ANC, EFF and PAC manifestos and ask whether there is anything new in the bold undertakings or is the talk about land ‘ukuza kukaNxele’; as empty promises are called in IsiXhosa.

Tues 02 April 2019 @18:00–20:30

Bertha House

67-69 Main Road Mowbray

RSVP to info@tshisimani.org.za or (021) 685 3516

Country cooking: the music of Chris McGregor’s ‘Brotherhood of Breath’

At the end of the 1960s, whilst he was in exile in England, South Africa’s pianist Chris McGregor gave expression to his expansive musicality by forming a big band called Brotherhood of Breath. Until his passing in 1990, McGregor performed and recorded with the group. Four UK-based musicians featured in the band’s 1988 legendary recording Country Cooking are in Cape Town to record and perform with a stellar cast of local jazz artists. In a joint Tshisimani and Jazz in the Native Yards (JiNY) collaboration and public seminar, the four ‘brothers’ and University of York music scholar and saxophonist Jonathan Eato will talk about the legacy of McGregor and Brotherhood of Breath’s music and how critics in Europe misinterpreted and misunderstood the band’s important repertoire.

Saturday 23 March 2019
@15:00–17:00

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
Bertha House
67-69 Main Road,
Mowbray

RSVP for catering purposes to info@tshisimani.org.za or (021) 685 3516

Dying For Gold

South Africa’s wealth and privilege has been funded by large scale maiming and killing of people by the gold mining industry.
Today gold miner communities across Southern Africa have nothing to show for the wealth they produced except extreme rural underdevelopment and the world’s worst epidemic of TB and silicosis.

Through testimonies from communities in mining families throughout Southern Africa and extensive use of contrasting archive materials DYING FOR GOLD tells the story of how we have arrived at this extraordinary situation. DYING FOR GOLD brings to the surface the real cost of South African gold.

The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion by Dying for Gold filmmakers, Catherine Meyburgh and Richard Paplekka, and Lunga Guza from Workers’ World Media Productions.

Saturday 16 March 2019 @9:30 for 10:00 until 13:00

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education at Bertha House 67-69 Main Road
Mowbray, Cape Town

Please RSVP for catering purposes to info@tshisimani.org.za
or 021 685 3516/8

 

Minerals, weapons, and violence: the story of the DRC

What is the link between the mineral wealth of the DRC, the weapons industry, and political violence?

Following the screening of the documentary This is Congo in February, Tshisimani and the Congolese Civil Society of South Africa (CCSSA) are hosting a panel discussion to help us understand how the race for minerals such as cobalt and coltan could result in a cycle of violence, instability and killings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The move to electric cars, new military weapons and digitisation will definitely intensify the scramble for the country’s rare earth minerals. While the entire world will enjoy some of  the benefits of these developments, these inventions may result in on-going political instability and violence in the DRC.

Speakers:
Garrett Eriksen (University of Stellenbosch)
Joe-Yves Salankang Sa Ngol (CCSSA)
Thola Fuamba (African Youth Congress)Wednesday 6 March 2019 @ 18:00 – 20:00
Bertha House, 67-69 Main Road, Mowbray

RSVP for catering purposes by Tuesday 5 March to info@tshisimani.org.za or phone 021 685 3516

 

 

Call for Applications: Rethinking Freedom – a foundation course for activists

Course overview

The world in 2019 looks like an ugly place. Right-wing authoritarianism is on the rise and rides on waves of popular discontent and disillusionment with failed neoliberal policies and mainstream politics. In different parts of the world, right-wing leaders are ascending to power through the use of popular instruments like the vote. Fake news and misinformation are integral parts of the strategies used to cement this ugly world. Walls are going up and a politics of exclusion has gained prominence. The climate crisis continues and corporate power is seemingly invincible. The disappointments and near-collapse of left governments contributes to a climate of cynicism and despondency. But, attempts to change the world and win freedom have not ceased. In many places, people are waging a push-back against the climate crisis, closure of democratic space, rising inequalities, militarisation, racism and hate-fuelled politics. Rethinking Freedom is a course designed to grapple with the realities of fighting for the attainment of freedom in this time of uncertainty. Tying the course together are key questions:

  • What does freedom look like today?
  • What are the constraints and limitations to freedom today?
  • What kinds of strategies are on the table for those seeking to be free today?
  • What are the different imaginations of the future being crafted in these struggles?

Participants in the course will consider these questions, locate them historically and look at their theoretical underpinnings.

To apply, download the full call for applications and application form below, and send a motivation letter and short bio to info@tshisimani.org.za. Nominated applications should be accompanied by a nomination letter from their organisations. The deadline for applications is Sunday 10 March 2019.

 

Full Course Description and Application Form PDF

Application Form (Word Doc)

 

We Are No Longer At Ease: The Struggle For #FeesMustFall

We Are No Longer At Ease is a major new collection of writing about the #FeesMustFall movement. Combining personal reflections, essays, poetry and analyses, the book provides an insiders’ perspective on the movement, which swept university campuses across the country from 2015 and boldly challenged the status quo. Co-editor Wandile Ngcaweni and contributor Lovelyn Nwadeyi will reflect on their experiences during #FeesMustFall, as well as how the politics and ideas of the student movement find expression in South Africa today.

Wednesday 13 February 2019 @17:30 for 18:00

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education at Bertha House 67-69 Main Road
Mowbray, Cape Town

Please RSVP by 12 February 2019 for catering purposes to info@tshisimani.org.za
or 021 685 3516/8

Thank you for the rain

Over the last five years Kisilu, a smallholder farmer in Kenya has used his camera to capture the life of his family, his village and the impacts of climate change. He has filmed floods, droughts and storms but also the more human costs – his kids are sent home from school when he can’t pay the fees; men are moving to towns in search for jobs; and family tensions rise.

Following a storm that destroys his house Kisilu starts building a community movement of farmers fighting the impacts of extreme weather and he takes this message of hope all the way to the UN Climate Talks, in Paris, COP21. Here, amid the murky cut and thrust of politics at the biggest environmental show on earth, Kisilu and Norwegian filmmaker Julia Dahr’s relationship takes on a remarkable twist, shedding a powerful light on the climate justice movement and the vastly different worlds they represent.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 @ 18h00 – 20h30
Film to be followed by a facilitated discussion.
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
67-69 Main Road, Mowbray
RSVP: 021 685 3516/8 or info@tshisimani.org.za

 

Mama Africa Directed by Mika Kaurismaki

Thursday, 29 November @ 17h30 – 20h00

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
67-69 Main Road, Mowbray

Jazz performer and educator Nomfundo Xaluva will lead post-screening discussion on Miriam Makeba’s legacy.

RSVP: 021 685 3516/8 or info@tshisimani.org.za

The state of rural education in South Africa

Rural schools continue to be the most poorly resourced and most neglected schools in the country. Gross inequalities continue to mirror those of the ‘homeland’ system perpetrated by the apartheid government. Equal Education has been organising in the rural areas of Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal, in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape and Ga-mashashane and Thohoyandou in the Limpopo province, for a number of years. The movement focuses on addressing the systemic challenges facing rural schools in South Africa (lack of transport, mud schools, the lack of piped water, electricity, and of proper safe sanitation, and a lack of the most basic educational resources such as adequately equipped classrooms, laboratories and libraries) and organises rural communities against an unjust education system that continues to undermine the rights of rural people to equal, quality education.

As part of the closing night of Equal Education’s 10 year anniversary photographic exhibition “Qina Mfundi. Qina!” 10 Years of Struggle for Equal Education, we are hosting a panel discussion on rural education. The panel will consist of rural activists, analysts and academics.

Amanda Rinquest (Co-head, Equal Education Eastern Cape Office)
Katiso Mosioua (a teacher from Chief Henry Bokleni Secondary School, Eastern Cape)
Demichelle Petherbridge (Attorney, Equal Education Law Centre)
Lisa Draga (University of the Western Cape)

“Qina Mfundi. Qina!” 10 Years of Struggle for Equal Education – A Photographic Exhibition

Drawing inspiration from the struggle against Apartheid and social movements in democratic South Africa, particularly the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), over the last 10 years Equal Education (EE) has placed educational inequality firmly on the public agenda and defined education as a social justice issue. Started in Khayelitsha in 2008, by a small group of young people from diverse backgrounds, Equal Education has mobilised thousands of learners, parents and community members in support of campaigns for school safety and security in the Western Cape; school infrastructure in the Eastern Cape; scholar transport in rural KwaZulu-Natal; school sanitation in Gauteng; water and sanitation in Limpopo; and nationally-binding school infrastructure standards. This exhibition showcases these campaigns, while paying tribute to the thousands of Equalisers (high school learner members) and parents, and the hundreds of facilitators and staff members who have built the movement into what it is today. Despite difficulties and disappointments, we remain strong and determined to build a better movement and take forward the struggle for quality and equal education. Qina Mfundi. Qina! (Be strong learner. Be strong!)

25 October – 15 November 2018

Open to the public on Thursdays from 10h00 to 16h00 or by appointment

For more info contact info@tshisimani.org.za or 021 685 3516/8

67 – 69 Main Road, Mowbray, Cape Town

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary directed by John Scheinfeld

Fifty years ago, Winston Mankunku Ngozi recorded ‘Dedication’ as a tribute to US saxophonist John Coltrane. Since then, Coltrane  and his music remain a big part of South Africa ‘s jazz imaginary. By screening Scheinfeld’s documentary, Tshisimani hopes to stimulate a discussion on what in Coltrane’s work animates musicians and listeners today.

Friday, 14 September @ 19h00 Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education 67-69 Main Rd Mowbray RSVP: 021 685 3516/8 info@tshisimani.org.za

 

Our ’68: Student and Youth Politics Today

From Monday 9 – Saturday 14 July 2018, the Tshsimani Centre for Activist Education (TCAE) hosted  an International Student and Youth Activist Convening in Cape Town, South Africa.  The Convening, which coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 student and youth revolts, brought together 40 leading activists to share experiences, strategies and tactics; reflected on global political and economic developments; and built international networks of cooperation and solidarity. Countries represented included: South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, the United States, the United Kingdom, Tunisia, India and Egypt.

Our ’68: Young Revolutionaries Arts Festival

1968 – a year of inspired rebellion – from Paris to Prague, Senegal to South Africa, Tokyo to the USA, thousands of young people marched, occupied and shut down urban centers, streets and campuses fighting for a better world.

50 years later, what do young people living in Cape Town want to change? What kind of a world do they want to inherit? 50 high school learners from diverse communities across Cape Town have been creating performances in response to these questions.

Please join us to showcase their site-specific performances at Tshismani Centre for Activist Education and around Mowbray. The festival promises to be a dynamic tour of what young people in Cape Town care about and want to see changed, expressed through song, dance, theatre and live performance.

RSVP: 021-685 3516/8

info@tshisimani.org.za

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education 67 – 69 Main Road, Mowbray, Cape Town

Refreshments will be served.

Free Entrance

This Land

“Land is everything to us, we are not afraid to die.”

THIS LAND is a powerful 48-minute documentary about a small village in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Makhasaneni, and the struggle of the people living there against mining operations which have polluted their soil and their water, and demand their rights to the land. This film is an important contribution to current debates on land redistribution and security of tenure.

Miki Redelinghuis, director of THIS LAND and Reverend Mbhekiseni Mavuso, a leader of the Makhasaneni community, will be present at the screening and for the discussion afterwards.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

18:00 – 20:00

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education 67 Main Road, Mowbray, Cape Town

50 seats available for RSVP: 021 685 3516/8 info@tshisimani.org.za

 

Hindu nationalism: a form of exclusionary politics

Tuesday 17 July 2018 18.00 – 20.00 Throughout the world, economic insecurity and vulnerability are giving birth to politics of exclusion such as right-wing nationalism, climate denialism, protectionism, reactionary populism and xenophobia. An example of such exclusionary politics is Hindu nationalism adopted by India’s Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Two Indian student activists will speak about how this form of nationalism uses the rhetoric of ‘national development’, culture and religion to stifle democracy, exclude and oppress certain groups, and vilify opponents as ‘anti-nationals’.

Rama Naga – General Secretary of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union (2015-16).
Simone Zoya Khan – Vice-President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union (2017-2018).

 

Book Launch: Organise or Die!

Author, Raphaël Botiveau will be in conversation with Asanda Benya, UCT academic in sociology specialising in workers in the mining industry.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018
17:30 for 18:00 to 20:00

RSVP by Monday 11 June 2018
info@tshisimani.org.za

 

Pan-African Film Showcase

This year marks 10 years since the violent outbreak of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals living in South Africa. Issues of migration remain a large part of public discourse the world over; in the US and Europe, we have seen the rise of conservative political views with strong anti-immigrant positions. To understand the complexities of migration, Tshisimani will host a two-day film showcase, screening films that explore the African immigrant experience. We invite you to engage with the diverse life experiences of African immigrants through film and panel discussions that will explore the issues that each film raises.

When the state fails us: how can we hold the corrupt to account?

Report back & podcast launch

In February this year, the 1st People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa took place. This brought together 10 civil society organisations and 15 individual witnesses who presented evidence on the long shadow of economic crime, from apartheid to present-day state capture.

Join us for a collective listening of a podcast created by Open Secrets and Sound Africa on the Tribunal, followed by a discussion on the value of people’s tribunals in fighting economic crime, and the use of podcasting as a creative tool to document and mobilise around activist work.

 

Does Marxism have a place in radical politics today?

Seminars and panel discussions marking the bi-centennial anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx and examining the relevance of his ideas today.

From the Economic Freedom Fighters to NUMSA and the South African Student Congress, the words “Marxist-Leninist” are ingrained in the constitutions, manifestos and policy documents of many organisations on the left. This is interesting given the observation of the decline of Marxist ideas globally. Marxist thought, slogans and iconography are a common part of the youth political expression in South Africa today. This panel of young activists will consider the following questions: What is the appeal of Marxist ideas for youth and student movements in South Africa today? In what ways are Marxist ideas used and understood in these movements?

Sinawo Thambo – chairperson of the EFF Student Command, Western Cape
Lunga Mantashe – former president, Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) and lecturer (Fort Hare)
Sibusiso Maneli – former SASCO chairperson (NMU, UWC) and SRC member (UWC)
Alex Hotz – former Rhodes Must Fall (UCT)
Ashley Nyiko Mabasa – branch leader Young Communist League (Wits) and contributor to Rioting and Writing: Diaries of Wits Fallists (2017)

Monday, 30 April
18H00 – 20H00

Marxism & contemporary struggles in Africa

Seminars and panel discussions marking the bi-centennial anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx and examining the relevance of his ideas today.

The 21st century political scene on the African continent has been anything but quiescent, with young people involved in struggles against despotism, election fraud, repression, unemployment, privatisation of basic services, environmental degradation and corruption. Yet, on cursory observation, unlike the 20th century when Marxism was part and parcel of the political language of the time, forms of political expression associated with Marxism seem to be marginal in popular struggles today. Is Marxism on permanent retreat in Africa today? Is it a relic from a long-forgotten from the past? What explains this shift? What animates popular struggles today?

Cindy Morillas – Centre for Social Change (UJ) and researcher specialising in youth and student struggles in Cameroon
Heike Becker – (UWC) professor focusing on popular and youth struggles in Southern Africa (Namibia and South Africa)

Thursday, 26 April
18H00 – 20H30

Listeriosis: How the capitalist food system kills us

The listerioisis outbreak and the death of 189 people places in sharp focus the urgency of a campaign for a food production system that enables abundant, sustainable, healthy and varied diets and which strictly upholds health regulations. Capitalism turns food into a commodity like all others, to be made and sold for profit, and is wasteful, environmentally unsafe and exploitative. The capitalist food system also spawns food insecurity. As food becomes unaffordable, people opt for cheaper, less-healthy diets that lead to obesity and diet-related diseases. Tragically, the food industry and its all-powerful lobbies distort and discredit research on how their products lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Natalya Dinat will talk to us about the consequences of the commodification of food and how the profit-driven corporate food system kills us. Dinat is a Johannesburg-based medical doctor. Linked to the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in the late 1990s, she initiated the first clinic for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in a public health setting. Until 2011, Dinat taught at the University of the Witwatersrand medical school.

Thursday 12 April 2018
18.00-20.00

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
67 Main Road, Mowbray
(next to UCT Forest Hill and opposite the CPUT Viljoenhof residences)

RSVP: info@tshisimani.org.za

Driving change through creativity: a workshop on the arts and activism

Are you an activist interested in creative ways to think about resistance, change, and imagining a different world? Are you an artist interested in collaborating with activists to reimagine campaigns, ways of mobilising, and protest action?

If so, the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education is running a two-day workshop aimed at introducing Artivism (art and activism) within the South Africa political context.

This introductory workshop aims to

  • Introduce the thinking and practicalities around designing campaigns and interventions using the performing and creative arts;
  • analyse examples from around the world of the ways that artistic and creative approaches have been used in campaigns and activism;
  • introduce South African case studies of how local organisations have used creative modes of activism, and to what effect;
  • use creativity to help revitalise and inspire ourselves as activists;
  • practice approaches to using the arts within activism.

How to apply:
The workshop is free and open to all, but places are limited. To secure your place and assist our planning, please email (info@tshisimani.org.za) or Whatsapp (076 309 0356) your name, background, and interest in arts and activism by 17 March 2018.

Please note, you will need to commit to the full two days. Transport to the workshop can be arranged and lunch and teas will be provided.

Government’s fee-free higher education policy: An answer to student demands?

In December 2017, Jacob Zuma announced a fee-free higher education policy for South Africa. At its 54th national conference, the ANC endorsed the proposal. While celebrated in some quarters, the announcement left many unanswered questions. How will the proposal be funded? Is this what students fought for? What does the policy mean for the university system?   To explore these questions, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education hosts a one-day symposium. Presenters at the symposium will include representatives from student movements, interested civil society groups and bodies of university administrators. They will be in conversation with officials from National Treasury and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

The climate crisis and democratic eco-socialist alternatives

These days the planet frequently experiences prolonged droughts, heavy storms, intense tornadoes, devastating floods and deadly heat waves. Melting ice caps are leading to rising sea levels, threatening to submerge and wipe out several island states and low-lying countries. Many scientists as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have found that emissions from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are the primary cause of these changes and extreme weather patterns.

A newly-published book The Climate Crisis: South African and Global Democratic Eco-Socialist Alternatives looks at the responses of people adversely affected by climate change to halt the creeping disaster. Edited by Vishwas Satgar, the book presents systemic and bottom-up alternatives that social movements and climate justice activists are advancing in South Africa and elsewhere in the world. Satgar and contributor Christelle Terreblanche will speak on the counter-approaches to global warming which are examined in the book.

RSVP: info@tshisimani.org.za/021 685 3516/8

 

A Pop-Up Cinema Event: The Giant is Falling

In light of the recent tumultuous events in South Africa, and due to popular demand, we are reshowing Rehad Desai‘s The Giant is Falling:

After 24 years of democracy, South Africa can’t seem to shake of apartheid’s legacy. The ANC, the political party in power since 1994, has been unable to address growing inequalities in the country. Instead, it has been plagued by scandal and political crises brought on by deep fractures within the party.
In The Giant is Falling, Desai attempts to locate where the ANC went wrong. This journey takes us back to 1994 and ends at the present moment, where Desai looks at how #FeesMustFall and the emergence of the Guptas in SA’s political landscape have contributed to the decline in popularity of the ANC. For Desai, these events herald the death of the ANC, and he questions what became of the 1994 dream. Most importantly, The Giant is Fallingposes questions of how to respond to these issues, as activists and as ordinary citizens.

Entrance is free and refreshments will be served.

 

A Pop-Up Cinema Event: The Giant is Falling

In our Pop-Up Cinema Event, the films and locations are never the same. What remains constant is our passion for film and our desire to engage in conversation with you.

This month’s selection is Rehad Desai’s The Giant is Falling.

After 24 years of democracy, South Africa can’t seem to shake of apartheid’s legacy. The ANC, the political party in power since 1994, has been unable to address growing inequalities in the country. Instead, it has been plagued by scandal and political crises brought on by deep fractures within the party.
In The Giant is Falling, Desai attempts to locate where the ANC went wrong. This journey takes us back to 1994 and ends at the present moment, where Desai looks at how FeesMustFall and the emergence of the Guptas in SA’s political landscape have contributed to the decline in popularity of the ANC. For Desai, these events herald the death of the ANC, and he questions what became of the 1994 dream. Most importantly, The Giant is Falling poses questions of how to respond to these issues, as activists and as ordinary citizens.

18:00PM
30 November 2017
The Market Deli & Legal Cafe, Salt River

Entry is free, and refreshments will be served.

Kindly RSVP to:
Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

 

Dying to travel: state capture and the destruction of our railways

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education and #Unitebehind hosted an educational workshop on Saturday 4th November 2017 for Metrorail commuters to share their testimonies of Cape Town’s train system, and how delays and damage to railways impact on our lives. Activists listened to Yolisa Pikie describe how ‘state capture’ has stolen money that could be used to renew rail tracks, signalling and security systems, disabled access, and provide decent passenger service. We also discussed the way forward: how ordinary people can work together to secure a safe, efficient, comfortable, punctual rail service for all the people of Cape Town.

 

A Pop-Up Cinema Event: Taking HAART

In our Pop-Up Cinema Event, the films and locations are never the same. What remains constant is our passion for film and our desire to engage in conversation with you.

This month, we bring you Taking HAART, a documentary produced for the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and directed by Jack Lewis. It chronicles TAC’s formation, and its decade long battle to ensure the provision of anti-retrovirals to HIV-positive South Africans at public health institutions. Taking Haart carefully navigates through the story of HIV/AIDS in post-apartheid South Africa, detailing the personal stories of activists involved in the early battle against stigma and misinformation, in advocacy of treatment for all.

18:00PM
26 October 2017
Greatmore Studios, Woodstock

Entry is free, and refreshments will be served.

Kindly RSVP to:
Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Radical Thinkers’ Series: C.L.R. James

The year 2018 will mark 80 years since the publication of C.L.R. James’s The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. This seminal work placed the Haitian Revolution at the center of world history, alongside the French and American revolutions of the 18th century. The Radical Thinkers Lecture Series examines the life and ideas of the Caribbean activist and writer on the making Haitian revolution, Pan-Africanism and the politics of the diaspora. With contemporary debates on decolonisation, race and class often polarised, James’s political biography demonstrates how one can simultaneously be an anti-colonialist, a Pan-Africanist, a universalist and a Marxist.

David Austin is the author of Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex, and Security in Sixties Montreal (Winner of the 2014 Casa de las Americas Prize) and editor of You Don’t Play with Revolution: The Montreal Lectures of C.L.R. James. He also produced a three-part radio documentary for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on the life and work of C.L.R. James (The Black Jacobins, 2004) and on the life and work of Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth, 2006)

Reflecting on the struggle for free education

On 6th October 2015, student and worker mobilization across South Africa erupted in a national day of action. Two years later we reflect on what the #MustFall movements mean for democratic South Africa and the state of education. In this spirit, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education is hosting two events: to unpack the politics of the #MustFall movements and to explore artistic expression as part of the call for free education.

Reflecting on the #MustFall movements
Thursday, 5th October
17h00-20h00

Through close readings of three reflective texts and group discussions, we explore the #MustFall movement and its emergence.

Venue: Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
1 Batten Lane/69 Main Road, Mowbray
(close to Forest Hill Residence and opposite CPUT Viljoenhof Residence)

Celebrating #MustFall movements through music and poetry
Friday, 6th October
17h00 – Late

Through poetry, music and art we reflect on how the movements used visual and artistic expression to give voice to their message. Starting with a walk-through gallery and ending with a night of music & poetry, we celebrate student activism today.
Performances by:
Poetry by Allison-Claire Hoskins
African Aesthetics
Conscious Marimba Band
Sounds of the South

A cash bar will be available and a finger supper will be provided.

Venue: The Drawing Room, 87 Station Rd,
Observatory, Cape Town, 7925

Eskom’s capture: Implications for ordinary people

In October, parliament begins its inquiry into Eskom and other state-owned enterprises. As it summons witnesses to give evidence, further details will come to light around the repurposing of governance and the centralisation of rent-seeking opportunities to unlawfully benefit politically-connected elites. The story of state capture at Eskom is long, complex and shrouded in controversy. But no other evidence more clearly shows how state capture affects ordinary people than the steep increases in electricity tariffs over the last 10 years. The biggest drivers of the 400% increase in electricity prices over the last decade are massive hikes in costs of coal and diesel which are allegedly procured in corrupt ways. Currently, the energy regulator is considering an Eskom application for a 19.9% increase for 2018/19.

Catrina Godinho, a co-author of The Eskom Inquiry: Reference Book will ‘join the dots’ between state capture and what has happened at South Africa’s largest state-owned company.

Godinho is a PhD Candidate at the University of Cape Town, working on issues relating to power sector development and reform. She is committed to the principles of energy democracy, transparency and accountability, and economic transformation.

Tuesday 03 October 2017
Time: 17h30 – 20h00

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
69 Main Road/1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(close to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Transport available by prior arrangement, kindly RSVP to:

Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Dying to forget: History, memory and the intergenerational transfer of trauma in South Africa –  Jacob Dlamini 

Why do individuals who did not experience apartheid personally claim to suffer from trauma as a result of apartheid? How do we make sense of the anger of the “born-free” generation towards their parents’ generation, and their rejection of the political settlement that brought about the “new” South Africa? Is this anger an expression of a historical trauma? If so, how is the trauma of the past transmitted across generations? Drawing on insights from a range of disciplines, I intend to address the above questions in ways that might help us think differently about our attempts to forge a new nation in South Africa. My talk draws on a range of sources, including the archives of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to develop an approach that is both grounded historically but also cautiously speculative. My aim is to understand how ordinary South Africans remember histories of violence and how their memories of this violence are shared across generations. How, in short, do these memories become History? What does it mean to remember your parents’ pain of humiliation when you yourself never experienced that humiliation? The project is motivated in part by an attempt to understand how South Africa’s past has shaped the way the discipline of History has developed in South Africa.

Jacob Dlamini is a journalist, historian and author. He is currently an associate professor of history at Princeton University. He is the author of Native Nostalgia and Askari.

Kindly RSVP to:
Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
69 Main Road/1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(close to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Time:
17:3oPM

 

Dying for a home in the city

During a protest in Town 2 Khayelitsha last month, a car pulled up next to Mthunzi ‘Ras’ Zuma. The driver asked Ras to identify himself, and then shot him in the head. He died on the scene. His killers remain at large.

A few weeks earlier, Ras led hundreds of Izwe Lethu community members in a land occupation opposite Khayelitsha’s central train station. Despite its prime location and size – equivalent to sixteen rugby fields – the city-owned land had been vacant for decades. Soon after Ras’s execution the occupation was suppressed by police, and the land is once again vacant.

Mthunzi ‘Ras’ Zuma is not alone. In cities across the country, thousands of poor and working class activists are being threatened, assaulted and in some cases murdered for challenging spatial Apartheid and property power.

In Durban, Abahlali baseMjondolo have long endured state-sponsored violence, with six murders in recent years including the death of two-week old Jaden Khoza in June 2017. In Johannesburg, a new mayor is using a private security force to lawlessly and violently evict hundreds of residents to make way for new, wealthier tenants.  Elsewhere in Cape Town, occupiers from Reclaim The City were last month instructed by men with rifles and pangas to leave a vacant inner-city building because they “don’t belong there”.

Join us in learning about the struggle for homes in South Africa’s three biggest cities, the challenges posed by state violence, and how we as activists can together respond to it.

Monday 28 August
from 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Isivivana Centre, Khayelitsha

Speakers will include representatives from:

Abahlali baseMjondolo
Durban
Inner-City Housing Federation
Johannesburg
Izwe Lethu Community
Khayelitsha
Reclaim The City
Sea Point

The mass meeting will be chaired by Mandisa Dyantyi, Deputy General-Secretary of the Social Justice Coalition. Time will be provided for other activists to speak of the challenges they face in their respective struggles.

For more information please contact:

Ntebaleng Morake (SJC): 0781819974
Nkosikhona Swaartbooi (NU): 0724859826
Nomvuyiso Dyani (Tshisimani): 0216853516/ nomvuyiso.dyani@tshisimani.org.za

A Pop-Up Cinema Event: This Land

In our Pop-Up Cinema Event, the films and locations are never the same. What remains constant is our passion for film and our desire to engage in conversation with you.

In our second installment, we’re screening Miki Redelinghuys’ “This Land”, a documentary that looks at the disconnect in using customary law in capitalist state, to solve the land question. The film zeroes in on a rural KwaZulu Natal community facing forced removal – by a mining company – from a village their forefathers were forcibly moved to by the apartheid state.

Entry is free, and refreshments will be served.

Kindly RSVP  to:
Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Constitutionalism or Decolonisation: Legal Education Today

In response to the nationwide student movement for decolonisation and the need to question of western systems of knowledge and symbolic orders, Tshisimani offers a programme on decolonisation in so far as it relates to the legal discipline. Placing Professor Ramose’s work in conversation with the work and perspectives of law student activists and movements around the country, we hope to make better sense of this moment in South African jurisprudence and legal activism. We look at what Richard Rothstein terms as ‘the colour of law,’ by exploring legal doctrines, legislation and policies in so far as they reveal the contestations between constitutionalism and decolonisation as paradigms that continue to shape the present and past. Together with law student activists, artists, gender scholars, lawyers and legal scholars we will explore the ways in which law is taught in the university, what law schools might look like under free education and how universities continues to reconstitute structural inequality that affects us at the level of culture, race, class, gender and sexuality.

Kindly RSVP by Friday 18 August 2017 to:
Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
69 Main Road/1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(close to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Eddie Webster: The Unresolved National Question in South Africa – Left Thought Under Apartheid

Earlier this year, Edward Webster and Karin Pampallis launched an edited book on why the goal of a united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy in South Africa remains elusive. In a presentation based on the main arguments of The Unresolved National Question in South Africa: Left Thought Under Apartheid, Webster will examine ways in which various strands of Left thought have in the past addressed the ‘national question’. He will also explore the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards and talk about how Black Consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism influenced discussions on the ‘national question’.

Eddie Webster is Research Professor in the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
69 Main Road/1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(close to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Kindly RSVP to:
Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Nationalism: Lessons from India

The on-going calls for ‘radical economic transformation’ as well as arguments about how the lack of ‘economic freedom’ undermines political independence, sharply raise questions about the nature of the ideology that drove the liberation struggle – African nationalism. As we examine African nationalism, it is vital to reflect on nationalism that developed in other parts of the global South. India is a good case study to consider. Emerging in the 1880s, Indian nationalism drove the struggle against British colonial rule and anchored the mass movement that won political independence in 1947.

Vivek Chibber is Professor of Sociology at New York University.  He is author of Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India (Princeton University Press, 2003), which won several awards including the Barrington Moore, Jr. Prize from the American Sociological Association, and Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital (Verso, 2013).  The debate that this book touched off is collected in The Debate on Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital (Verso, 2017).

Transport may be arranged by prior request –

Please RSVP to info@tshisimani.org.za  by 8 August 2017

Women, film and post-apartheid South Africa

Women,  film and post-apartheid SA

The post-apartheid film space has opened up the possibility of varied and inclusive depictions of a broad range of female identities. However, concerns have been raised that the depiction of women in South African films often remains ‘one dimensional’ and stereotypical, with female characters who are rarely portrayed outside of conventional gender roles and often denied agency. That these issues still exist in an era of assumed openness of ideas and representations is a source of debate and discussion for filmmakers and audiences alike. As a means of contributing to these debates, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education is hosting a two-day workshop that will include contributions of female filmmakers. In addition to the debate above, the workshop will probe the following questions:

  • How are women’s identities depicted in post-apartheid South African film?
  • Are they represented solely as static and stereotypical? Do they reinforce or challenge conventional understandings of femininity/womanhood?
  • Are there alternative depictions of women that might engage with identity as fluid and imagine women in new ways?
  • How are gender and sexual identities connected to race and culture? How are these shaped by history and the environment and to what extent are these aspects explored in contemporary SA film?
  • Who has access to the post-apartheid film industry and how does this shape the stories we see on screen?

Kindly RSVP by Monday 31 July 2017 to:
Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
69 Main Road/1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(close to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

 

A Pop-Up Cinema Event: The Invisible War

In our Pop-Up Cinema Event, the films and locations are never the same. What remains constant is our passion for film and our desire to engage in conversation with you.
To kick things off, we’re screening Kirby Dick’s “The Invisible War”, a documentary that looks deeply at the culture of rape and victim blaming that exists in the US military. The film is driven by insight from those who have been assaulted, and the struggles they continue to face in their personal lives, as well as input from legislators on failures of the system.

Moeletsi Mbeki: Race, class and the making of modern South Africa

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education will host a lecture by Moeletsi Mbeki titled, “Race, class and the making of modern South Africa”.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017
18:00 – 20:00
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
1 Batten Lane, Mowbray, 7705, Cape Town
(close to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

RSVP to: Nomvuyiso Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Sindiwe Magona: Black Women in Cape Town

In honouring what Toni Cade Bambara called ‘radical cultural work’ and in continuing the important reflections of African women in literature, Tshisimani will be in conversation with Dr. Sindiwe Magona, feminists, intellectuals, students and youth activists looking at the case of Black Women in Cape Town through Magona’s Living, Loving and Lying Awake at Night.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017
17:30 – 19:30
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
1 Batten Lane, Mowbray, 7705, Cape Town
(close to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

RSVP to: Nomvuyiso Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

 

Race and the making of the global capitalist order

Confirmation of Robin D.G. Kelley lecture for Sunday 25 June at Tshisimani Centre

Rapidly increasing global inequality is the key political challenge of our times. 1 per cent of the world’s population owns more wealth than the rest of humankind combined. Put differently, 8% of the global population owns nearly 85% of global wealth. This staggering concentration of wealth and power drives inequality between and within nations, and between the global north and south.  In this lecture in the series on race and racism, Kelley wrestles with the historical processes that explain how racial hierarchies became so intricately morphed into capitalism. This relationship between racism and capitalism is explored by looking at how the consolidation of racism and the emergence of the ‘colour-line’ enabled massive wealth accumulation by a few. Using the history of the United States – a history of genocide, colonisation, dispossession, slavery and endemic violence – Kelley examines how global persistence of racism shapes our thinking about justice and strategies in the struggle against different forms of oppression and economic exploitation.

Robin D.G. Kelley is Gary B. Nash Chair of US History at the University of California (Los Angeles) and author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (2002); Africa Speaks, America Answers! Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (2012); and Thelonious Monk: the Life and Times of an American Original (2010).

Jazz and the Politics of Co-creation – Conversations with Robin D.G Kelley

As part of its Cold War efforts, the US government promoted jazz as “America’s best gift to the world”. In his book Africa Speaks, America Answers! Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times, US historian and activist Robin D.G. Kelley disputes the assertion. By examining the work of South African vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin, Ghanaian-born drummer Guy Warren, US-pianist Randy Weston and American bassist/oudist Ahmed Abdul-Malik; Kelley shows how jazz is a co-creation born out of conversations and collaborations between musicians from different places and backgrounds. He also demonstrates how decolonisation shaped modern jazz and how contemporary jazz was central in the formation of modern African identities. within the diaspora.

On Friday 23 June, Kelley gives a presentation titled Jazz and the Politics of Co-creation. Hosted by the University of the Western Cape’s Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) and Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, the presentation is part of The Factory of the Arts’ new series of public dialogues on jazz . its politics and legacies.

Date: Friday, June 23

Time: 19h00

Venue: Cape Town Science Centre, 370B Main Road, Observatory

Kelley is a Gary B. Nash Chair of US History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has published widely in African-American history, with a focus on social movements, radical ideas and cultural expressions such as jazz, hip-hop and photography. His other books on jazz and culture are Thelonious Monk: the Life and Times of an American Original (2010) and Yo’ Mama’s Disfunktional! Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (1997).

The politics of international solidarity – the case of Palestine

A short course on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict

While growing regional inequalities, the overreaching power of corporates as well as globalisation of wars point to the necessity of global solidarities, building transnational solidarity movements is proving to be a daunting task. Despite the existence of more efficient means of connecting people throughout the world, it has been difficult to build powerful and sustained international coalitions similar to anti-slavery, anti-war and anti-apartheid movements of yesteryear.

To investigate why this is the case and what can be done to overcome these challenges, Tshisimani is launching a programme to look at politics and methods to build common-interest struggles across borders. The investigation on politics and modalities of international solidarity will focus on what appears to be an intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. It will use the struggle of Palestinian people for statehood and self-determination to ask questions about how to build global solidarity today. To launch the programme, a short course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict takes place on Friday 02 – Saturday 03 June. 

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(next to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Transport available on request, kindly RSVP to:
Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Film screening: Jai Bhim Comrade

For thousands of years India’s Dalits were abhorred as “untouchables,” denied education and treated as bonded labour. By 1923 Bhimrao Ambedkar broke the taboo, won doctorates abroad and fought for the emancipation of his people. He drafted India’s Constitution, led his followers to discard Hinduism for Buddhism. His legend still spreads through poetry and song. In 1997 a statue of Dr. Ambedkar in a Dalit colony in Mumbai was desecrated with footwear. As angry residents gathered, police opened fire killing 10. Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet, hung himself in protest. Jai Bhim Comrade shot over 14 years, follows the poetry and music of people like Vilas and marks a subaltern tradition of reason that, from the days of the Buddha, has fought superstition and religious bigotry.

5:30 for 6:00 PM

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(next to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)
Refreshments will be served

Remembering the voice, writings and riots of Miriam Tlali

Miriam Tlali wrote ‘the black South African writer writes because there is so much around him or her that hurts and needs to be expressed and exposed. They write to protest, to hit back, to keep pounding at the clamped door until it opens.’ In conversation with feminists, intellectuals, students and youth activists, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education invites you to a reflection of Miriam Tlali’s writing through her seminal text Amandla, which explores current themes of student activism, protest literature and writing fiction in South Africa.

Date: 11 May 2017

Time: 17:30 – 19:45

Venue: Tshisimani Centre For Activist Education, 1 Batten Lane Rd, Mowbray, Cape Town

Lecture 2: Biko’s Fanonian critique of “integration”

Drawing on Biko’s critique of white liberalism and notions of integration, Nigel C. Gibson will present a lecture on Stephen Bantu Biko’s conception of race, including Biko’s engagement with Frantz Fanon’s writings. Gibson will argue that Black consciousness’ notion of blackness is not about “pigmentation” but “an attitude of mind”. He will also talk about Black consciousness as a world historical concept, mental liberation and the dialectic of liberation.

Gibson is author of Frantz Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination and Fanonian Practices in South Africa: from Steve Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolo and is also one of the editors of Biko Lives. He is currently completing Frantz Fanon, Politics and Psychiatry which will be published in September 2017.

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(next to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Kindly RSVP by Tuesday 7 March 2017 to:

Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Lecture 1: Race and the stubbornness of racism

Approaches to race and racism have divided political movements and organisations in the past and continue to do so in the present. More than 20 years into democracy, race has been a stubborn and persistent marker of inequality, access to resources, power and privilege and continues to shape lived experiences. This reality has invited scathing criticism for the idea of “non-racialism” or what some have coined “rainbowism”. Rozena Maart explores the role of race and racism in the making of existing social orders and in determining the strategies employed by movements organising for social change today. Maart will foreground the psychological effects of racism and oppression, agency and resistance as well as examine the language used to fight racism and imagine liberation.

Maart is Professor of Philosophy and Director for the Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity (CCRRI) at UKZN. Her work explores the world using Black Consciousness, critical race theory and feminism.

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(next to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Kindly RSVP by Tuesday 20 March 2017 to:

Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Module 1: Ideas Matter – Social Theories and Social Change

This module will explore how the complexity of today’s world requires ideas for change. With a focus on ideas that enjoy currency amongst activists today, the module will look at how throughout history, a range of ideas and social theories were used together with mass power to effect change. Using a number of theoretical traditions, the module will address the question of the role of ideas in social change. The theoretical traditions to be dealt with in the module are: liberalism, Marxism, feminism, Pan-Africanism, African nationalism, black radical traditions, black consciousness and ‘fallism’. The approach will highlight the manner in which the theoretical traditions develop, change and branch out. With a strong emphasis on context, the module will probe how ideas and knowledge systems are produced as well as how they are used to either challenge or maintain power relations. The module will look at how ideas that advocate emancipation and freedom lose emancipatory power as they become dominant discourses of the elite and ruling classes. At the end of the module participants should continue to develop their ability to utilise those ideas that are relevant to today’s struggles, discard blunt ones, as well as open up new areas of emancipatory thought.

SA’s withdrawal from the ICC: protecting national independence or abandoning universalism?

The High Court in Pretoria ruled on February 22nd that South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) was unconstitutional, not in itself, but because of the manner in which it was carried out. Heated debate around South Africa’s intended withdrawal continues.

South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the ICC, a body set up to investigate instances of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, has raised questions about the meaning of this withdrawal for the continent, and the country’s citizens.

The ICC has been criticized for a lack of balance in adjudicating crimes of genocide, war and so forth, targeting countries in the global south while failing to interrogate the militarism and violence of states in the global north.

Taking these criticisms into account, we attempt to develop a deeper understanding of the workings of the ICC, South Africa’s decision to withdraw, and the implications of this both nationally and internationally, in a two-day event at the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education on 10th and 11th March, 2017. Through debate and discussion, we will grapple with the issue of South Africa’s wish to withdraw, as well as deeper underlying questions of universality and human rights which emerged, for example, from early slave revolts in the Caribbean and North America. In addition to these debates, the workshop will probe the following questions:

  • Is the idea of human rights the sole creation of the Western world, or is the history of human rights more diverse and more complicated than is often assumed? That is, are human rights universal or a product of eurocentrism?
  • Is the ICC a neo-colonialist, imperialist intervention in the affairs of African states?
  • Can national or continental institutions serve as a means of recourse for citizens living under dictatorships, political instability and protracted instability?

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(next to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Kindly RSVP by Tuesday 7 March 2017 to:

Wadi Dyani
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

A Social Security Framework that Tackles Poverty and Inequality?

The administration and distribution of social grants has been in the news recently for reasons ranging from fraudulent deductions to controversies surrounding the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), the contractor responsible for administering grants. There is also widespread concern about what will happen on 01 April, which is the date when the CPS contract is supposed to come to an end. Along with this, the Department of Social Development has tabled a set of reforms with the aim of establishing a more coherent and integrated system of social protection. These developments raise broader questions about the state of the social security system and call for a deeper understanding of:

  • The history, ideological underpinnings and workings of SA’s social security system
  • The implications of the proposed reforms for the administration and distribution of social grants and pensions
  • Whether our social security system adequately addresses poverty and inequality
  • The public mobilisation that will be required to keep the state in check on its obligations

With these issues in mind, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education will host a two-day workshop on 17-18 February 2017 looking into the history and contemporary developments in the social security system.

The programme will also include the launch of the book, An Empty Plate by Tracey Ledger, which looks at hunger in South Africa as well as strategies to end it.

Kindly RSVP by Tuesday 15 February 2017 to:
Zanele Motsepe
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
69 Main Road/1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(close to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

17

Emancipatory Ideas and Experiences – Foundation course

Call for Applications

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education invites applications for its first offering of a Foundation Course on Emancipatory Ideas and Experiences.  This course explores the links between ideas for social change, the complexity of the world under globalised capitalism, South Africa’s place in it and what it means to imagine an alternative to the world as it exists today. Participants will grapple with burning questions facing today’s generation of activists as well as reflect on and relate theory and concepts to experiences and ongoing struggles. Also built into the Foundation Course are critical reading, thinking and writing skills. The course will be delivered in an engaging and participatory style, with educators and guest lecturers using a combination of lectures, seminars, film screenings, debates, discussion groups and outdoor activities. The course is residential and has five components/modules that run over five blocks starting in March 2017, in Cape Town.
Who can apply? 
Participants must hold a matric certificate or equivalent, occupy a leadership position in an activist organisation and display a strong commitment to social justice. In addition, participants will be expected to commit to attending the entire duration of the course, which runs over five blocks:
  • Registration and orientation: Wed 22 March
  • Module 1: Thurs 23 – Mon 27 March
  • Module 2: Thurs 22 – Mon 26 June
  • Module 3: Thurs 13 – Mon 17 July
  • Module 4: Thurs 07 – Mon 11 Sept
  • Module 5: Thurs 23 – Mon 27 Nov
Tuition fees, travel and accommodation will be provided by Tshisimani. Space is limited to 25 participants.

How to apply?

To apply, fill in this application form with a motivation letter and short bio and send it to info@tshisimani.org.za. Nominated applications should be accompanied by a nomination letter from their organisations.

The deadline for applications is Monday 13 February. For more information, click here.            

Free Fall: Why South African Universities are in the Race against Time

The student movement born out of the 2015 Rhodes Must Fall / Fees Must Fall moment has received widespread attention, support, analysis and critique, and captured the imagination of people in and beyond South Africa. Seasoned journalist and anti-apartheid activist Malcolm Ray provides a searing account of why universities have become hotspots of protest and organising. His book – Free Fall: Why South African Universities are in the Race against Time – probes beneath the surface of the crisis and reveals uncomfortable truths about colonial and apartheid-era education.  He traces the tangled web of connections between foreign and SA business interests, the apartheid government, and the role of universities in propping up a white elite and co-opting a subservient black class to their cause.

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education invites you to a conversation with Malcolm Ray and student activists Rehana Odendaal (UCT) and Gobonamang Merahe (UWC). Odendaal’s Masters research is an inquiry into the meaning of a public university, using WITS as a case study. Merahe has been immersed in high school and university student organising and has led various processes related to higher education and student governance.

 

Date: Friday, 03 February 2017

Time: 14H30

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education,
1 Batten Lane,
Mowbray, Cape Town
(next to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Kindly RSVP by Tuesday 31 January 2017 to:

Zanele Motsepe
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Jan Theron’s Solidarity Road: The story of a trade union in the ending of apartheid

Tshisimani and Jacana Media invite you to a launch of Jan Theron’s Solidarity Road: The Story of a trade in the ending of apartheid. The author will be in conversation with Dinga Sikwebu from Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education on the impact of Food and Canning Workers Union – a union that played an important role in the establishment of Cosatu –  in forging solidarities between African and ‘coloured’ workers.
Date
Time
Venue
Thursday, 08 December 2016
17h30
Centre for the Book
62 Queen Victoria Street
Cape Town City Centre
RSVP for catering purposes
Zanele Motsepe
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Gentrification, Displacement & Dispossession in Cape Town

From Maboneng in Johannesburg to Woodstock and Salt River in Cape Town, cases of the poor being pushed out to the fringes of cities is fast becoming a feature of urban planning in South Africa and many cities globally.

In this seminar with urban land justice activist Gavin Silber, we look into the forces behind urban displacement, the role of the state in providing affordable housing and prospects for organising against the power of private developers and financiers.

2eb71be

Date:

Friday, 07 October 2016

Time:

14h00 – 16h00

 

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
1 Batten Lane
Mowbray, 7705

Cape Town

(next to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Kindly RSVP by Thursday 6 October to: 
Zanele Motsepe
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Colonialism, its Legacy & the Project of Decolonisation

Speakers: Shamil Jeppie, Zandisiwe Radebe and Vishwas Satgar.

A workshop that explores the complexities of colonial rule and its aftermath. What were the main drivers of colonial conquest and imperialist expansion, what differing forms did it take, and how does this history continue to shape present realities? What forms did anti-colonial struggles take and what are the prospects for decolonisation?

#AntiColonialStruggles

Saturday, October 01 08h30 for 09h00 to 14h30

A panel discussion: Can the ANC renew itself?

A panel discussion: With the decline in support for the ANC reflected in the local government election results and with scandals erupting at different levels of the state and society, calls for renewal of the organisation have grown louder inside and outside the party. As calls for rejuvenation of the ANC reach their crescendo, questions are being asked about the prospects of renewal. Can the ANC renew itself? What will be required for such a renewal to happen? What are the implications for society of the decline of the ANC? Can the party extricate itself from the infighting within the state and from corrupting business networks?

downloadMavuso Msimang is a veteran of the ANC and a trustee of the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation. He also serves as a board chairperson of Corruption Watch.

 

23030345079_5dcb986017_o

Vishwas Satgar teaches International Relations at Wits University and is a former provincial secretary of the SACP. He is a member of the national committee of the SA Food Sovereignty Campaign.

Date: Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Time: 17h30 – 19h30
Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
1 Batten Lane
Mowbray, 7705
Cape Town
(next to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Kindly RSVP by Monday 12 September to: 
Zanele Motsepe
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Hunger in South Africa: A Silent Crisis

According to the Oxfam Report (2014) – Hidden Hunger in South Africa – one in four people currently suffers from hunger on a regular basis and more than half the South African population are at the risk of going hungry. Household incomes lag behind food price increases, especially staples like maize meal. The increase in the cost other non-food essential items like transport and electricity forces poor households to allocate more money to meeting these needs. This coincides with a food industry that is dominated by a handful of large firms and corporate giants that control food availability, price, quality and the nutritional value of the food consumed by citizens.

In this seminar, Khwezi Mabasa – former COSATU Social Policy Coordinator and Socio-Economic and Environment Programme Manager at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) – looks at the multiple dimensions of the food crisis and possibilities for organising that places hunger at the centre.

Date:

Friday, 26 August 2016

Time:
14h00 – 16h00

Venue:

Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
1 Batten Lane
Mowbray, 7705
Cape Town
(near to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)
Kindly RSVP by Wednesday 24 August to: 
Zanele Motsepe
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

‘State Capture’, Democracy and Accountability in South Africa

State capture – the attempt to gain control of key institutions of government by powerful interests – has taken centre stage in national debate in recent months. Allegations of unsavoury links between elements of the South African government and powerful business interests, raise deep concerns about the securing of democracy and accountability in South Africa.

How did we get here? Can state capture be achieved and sustained without political party capture? How do liberation movements lose their sense of idealism? In our third lecture in a series on the post-apartheid state, Joel Netshitenzhe joins us to try and answer these questions and assess what can be done about it.

Date:
Thursday, 25 August 2016

Time:
17h30 – 19h00

Venue:
Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education
1 Batten Lane
Mowbray, 7705

Cape Town

(near to Forest Hill and opposite the Viljoenhof CPUT residences)

Kindly RSVP by Wednesday 24 August to: 
Zanele Motsepe
info@tshisimani.org.za
021 685 3516/8

Narratives, Creativity & Acts of Resistance

Feminists, intellectuals, activists, unionists and performers gather this to explore the intersections of creative practice, activism and radical black feminisms through two days of book talks, performance, political discussion and workshops.

Full programme

 

Injustice Masked as Convenience? Uber, the “Sharing Economy” and the Changing Nature of Work

Uber markets itself as a quick, safe and convenient transport mechanism that keeps cities and people on the move. In this seminar with Ayabonga Cawe, an Economist and Social Activist linked to Oxfam South Africa, we delve into several questions around how Uber has configured the work environment and accelerated the exploitation of transport workers in South African cities and beyond:

Who profits from Uber? Has Uber deepened discord and segmentation amongst workers? How are drivers/workers in different parts of the world waging a fight back to defend their labour rights? What role can consumers play?

Considerations on Southern Marxism: Fanon and Beyond

Public Lecture:
In his lecture Michael Burawoy will look at how concerns of radical movements in the global South have over the years contributed to and redefined Marxism. He will specifically focus on the contribution of Frantz Fanon.

Burawoy is a leading Marxist social scientist and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He has studied changes in the labour process and how work is organised in Zambia, Hungary and Russia. He also has a long association with South Africa. A series of lectures he gave in 2010 at Wits University was published as a book Conversations with Bourdieu: The Johannesburg Moment; with Karl von Holdt as a co-author.

Writing the Decline, On the Struggle for South Africa’s Democracy

The launch will take the form of a presentation on key themes of the book by the author

Richard Pithouse

Richard Pithouse, an activist intellectual who has been an important contributor to the South African public sphere for twenty years, offers a penetrating and beautifully written exploration of the escalating crisis in South Africa in the Zuma era. Writing the Decline, often written with a view from the underside of society but also always acutely aware of global developments, brings activist and academic knowledge together to provide a searing account of our condition. It takes on xenophobia, racism, homophobia, inequality and political repression.

In a moment when old certainties are breaking down, and new ideas and social forces are taking the stage, this book offers a compelling invitation to take democracy seriously.

About the Author

Richard Pithouse teaches politics at Rhodes University, where he lectures on contemporary political theory and urban studies. He writes regularly for journals and newspapers, both print and online, and his commentary is widely read.

Advance Praise
“Richard Pithouse is one of the most elegant writers I know – and also lucid, rational and egalitarian in the best possible way.”
– Niren Tolsi

“This is writing that dresses the oppressed in human clothing.”
– S’bu Zikode, founding president of Abahlali baseMjondolo

“This collection by Richard Pithouse shows a deep commitment to connecting the struggles of vulnerable people across the globe, doing so with an enviable appreciation of history and structural analysis, and refusing to fall into the South African temptation of parochial analysis.”
– Eusebius McKaiser, political analyst, broadcaster, lecturer and writer

“The elegance of Richard’s writing is unparalleled, and the power of his arguments striking. This book reveals, in the starkest terms, what is at stake in the discourse and practice of emancipation in contemporary SA.”
– Achille Mbembe, author of On the Postcolony

“Richard Pithouse is one of our finest essayists. He is the proverbial canary in the coalmine.”
– Sisonke Msimang, writer and activist

“Richard Pithouse’s chronicle of the past seven years of struggles from South Africa’s underside … is written with such clarity, succinctness, and unusual beauty that it stands as a powerful testament of what it means to love a country, its people and their aspirations.”
– Lewis Gordon, author of What Fanon Said

The Political Economy of the Post-Apartheid State

What effects have the integration of the Apartheid era ‘homelands’ in the context of South Africa’s Constitution, and the move toward managerialism within the public service had on the Post-Apartheid state? Professor Chipkin joins us to examine these two critical institutional developments in contemporary South Africa. In the lecture, Professor Chipkin will show how these developments help us explain the uneven, and generally poor performance of government administrations as well as the high levels of political contestation within the state. He will conclude by sharing some of his thoughts regarding the role of civil society organisations and social justice movements in the current conjuncture.

Presented by: Professor Ivor Chipkin

Pan Africanism & Fanon – Contemporary Resonances

Dr Vashna Jagernath and Dr Richard Pithouse from 29 March – 01 April 2016, present a series of seminars aimed at critically engaging the works of some of the leading intellectuals in African and Diasporic political thought.

This seminar series is organised around two main themes. The first aspect relates to the history of Pan African thought in relation to contemporary debates and struggles facing people from the African continent and their descendants, wherever they may live. The seminar also introduces participants to key themes in Pan African scholarship such as race, class, gender, feminism and intersectionality. The works and legacies of Frederick Douglass, Phyllis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Ida B Wells, Anna Julia Cooper, Thomas Sankara, CLR James amongst others, forms the key focus of this segment of the series.

The second aspect of the seminar series looks at Frantz Fanon’s works – as a thinker and revolutionary – and its location in the global political context. It explores various areas of his work such as his critique of liberalism and racist ideology. The relevance of Fanon’s work for struggles waged in the present (cities and urban areas) is be considered.