Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Kronos]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-019020100001&lang=en vol. 36 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Family law and 'the great moral public interests' in Victorian Cape Town, c.1850-1902</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In the wake of the mineral revolution, and the Cape Colony's attainment of responsible government, Cape Town's population doubled in the nineteenth century's latter years. Its largely British ruling class, seeing opportunities for wealth and a greater significance in empire and world, sought to construct a social order conducive to those goals. Faced with increasing ethnic heterogeneity, gender imbalance due to the numbers of male immigrants, and frustration in combating the endemic poverty and slums, city fathers and their closest colleagues - doctors, clergy - perceived the way forward in terms not of extending rights but of moral reform. This article carries the ongoing investigation of family life and law in Cape Town through the Victorian period. It examines legal enactments and social developments where they impacted on marriage, divorce, concubinage and related matters, with particular reference to the welfare of children and those born out of wedlock. <![CDATA[<b>Laughing with Sam Sly</b>: <b>the cultural politics of satire and colonial british identity in the Cape Colony, c. 1840-1850</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article examines Sam Sly's African Journal (1843-51), a literary and satirical newspaper published by William Layton Sammons in Cape Town. It contends that the newspaper utilised satire to forge British cultural affinity in the colony, as well as to encourage and preserve the conservative social boundaries of propriety and family values espoused by white middle-class colonists. This differed from the more widely studied position of satire as a subversive challenge to the established order, with Sammons avoiding sexually explicit, scandalous humour or overt attacks on personal character. In a period of growing white consensus, the African Journal's use of satire in the 1840s formed part of the cultural politics of establishing bourgeois values through the medium of appreciation of British literature and popular culture. Satire in Sam Sly's African Journal thus functioned ideologically to extend British cultural dominance and affinities, and to preserve and instil white bourgeois moral codes. Although much satire was shorn of the racial reality of the Cape Colony, seeking to replicate an impression of metropolitan whiteness, those satires that focused on race derided the Khoikhoi and Xhosa as incapable of achieving equality with whites, drawing on growing anti-humanitarian sentiment in the Cape. The African Journal's popularity, however, diminished in the face of the anti-convict agitation of 1848-50, when colonists opposed the landing of ticket-of-leave convicts from Ireland as an impediment to the goal of representative government, through petitions and boycotting supplying to the government. Satirising these measures as a radical betrayal of British loyalty, Sammons's support dwindled owing to his criticism of popular feeling. <![CDATA[<b>Alfred Martin Duggan-Cronin's photographs for <i>the Bantu tribes of South Africa </i>(1928-1954)</b>: <b>the construction of an ambiguous idyll</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The collection of A.M. Duggan-Cronin photographs at the University of Cape Town has experienced mixed fortunes since it was acquired some seventy years ago, being displayed proudly at one moment and stowed away in embarrassment at the next, only to be exhibited again for some new purpose. This paper looks at the original context of Duggan-Cronin's The Bantu Tribes of South Africa in political, anthropological and aesthetic terms; and it examines the first volume on The Bavenda (1928) in some detail. The paper argues that Duggan-Cronin may be shown to have constructed his photographs of African subjects in certain ways apparently to create a specific image of Africa that had obvious political connotations. This primitivising image made a forceful contribution to the 'Native Question', which was the most important single issue of South African politics of the mid-twentieth century. However, given the openness of visual communication, on the one hand, and change in political circumstances, on the other, the Duggan-Cronin photographs show that, over time, the same image can serve apparently quite contradictory purposes. <![CDATA[<b>'Re la Tsoantso' ('Father of the pictures')</b>: <b>Joseph Denfield's photography, 1944-1965</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article explores the photographic work of Joseph Denfield, a medical doctor who rose to prominence as an amateur photographer and public intellectual in South Africa in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It focuses on the manner in which and the extent to which Denfield participated in regional visual economies at different points in his career in order to establish his contribution towards visual histories in Southern Africa. Denfield experimented with various photographic genres, from ethnographic to pictorial work, which was widely circulated in salon exhibitions. Through a close reading of his photographs and writings relating in successive phases to his work in Northern Nigeria, Basutoland and East London, the article seeks to explore the wider frames of colonial photographic practice and their implications for creating alternative histories. Related to this is a reading of his photographs that he took at different stages against one another to figure out their shared visual grammar. This helps to deepen understandings around various genres of photography and to ask questions not simply about what historical photographs represent, but to interrogate how and why photographers did what they did. <![CDATA[<b>An ageing anachronism</b>: <b>D.F. Malan as prime minister, 1948-1954</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article tells the behind-the-scenes tale of the first apartheid Cabinet under Dr D.F. Malan. Based on the utilisation of prominent Nationalists' private documents, it traces an ageing Malan's response to a changing international context, the challenge to his leadership by a younger generation of Afrikaner nationalists and the early, haphazard implementation of the apartheid policy. In order to safeguard South Africa against sanctions by an increasingly hostile United Nations, Malan sought America's friendship by participating in the Korean War and British protection in the Security Council by maintaining South Africa's Commonwealth membership. In the face of decolonisation, Malan sought to uphold the Commonwealth as the preserve of white-ruled states. This not only caused an outcry in Britain, but it also brought about a backlash within his own party. The National Party's republican wing, led by J.G. Strijdom, was adamant that South Africa should be a republic outside the Commonwealth. This led to numerous clashes in the Cabinet and parliamentary caucus. Malan and his Cabinet's energies were consumed by these internecine battles. The systematisation of the apartheid policy and the coordination of its implementation received little attention. Malan's disengaged leadership style implies that he knew little of the inner workings of the various government departments for which he, as Prime Minister, was ultimately responsible. The Cabinet's internal disputes about South Africa's constitutional status and the removal of the Coloured franchise ultimately served as lightning conductors for a larger issue: the battle for the party's leadership, which came to a head in 1954. Malan sought to secure the succession for his favourite, N.C. Havenga. However, he was outmanoeuvred by J.G. Strijdom and his allies. Malan's retirement marked the end of an era, while Strijdom's victory heralded a regional and generational shift in power. <![CDATA[<b>A prose of ambivalence</b>: <b>liberation struggle discourse on necklacing</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article is concerned with the ambivalence that permeates liberation struggle discourse on the practice of necklacing. Through examining what was said about the killing of suspected collaborators and/or necklacing during the mid- to late 1980s by leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) and the United Democratic Front (UDF), I argue that those public positions produced a prose of ambivalence. I ask how this prose of ambivalence was produced and why that ambivalence is seemingly rendered intangible. I suggest that the ANC and UDF were caught in a double bind. They could not explicitly condemn the practice and risk losing their mass support base, nor explicitly condone the practice and risk losing the support of important internal and international constituencies thereby giving the apartheid state the upper hand in a discursive war on the moral and political legitimacy over using violence. Yet, I argue, this ambivalence was not merely a tactical one in that underlying the liberation discourse on the practice of necklacing was/is an inherent formulation of the binary of resistance and oppression/repression. The practice understood within this framework could only be rendered as state violence or resistance. In rendering it as the latter, though uncomfortably so, the ANC and UDF proposed that it be understood within a causal framework, as the result of oppression/repression. Ambivalence about the practice of necklacing thus, I argue, was produced in the interstice of the resistance - oppression/repression binary. Leading from this, I argue more broadly that the problematic of violence and attending ambivalence within the ANC has a history that predates the discourse around necklacing. I suggest that necklacing refuses to be forgotten precisely because of its ambivalence. Indeed, it may be that the inescapable ambivalence of necklacing is the condition for the possibility that it will always also be remembered. <![CDATA[<b>Does all that is solid melt into air?questioning 'neo-liberal' occult economies in Mozambique</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article examines a scandal, concerning a foreign investor who was supposedly the head of an organ trafficking ring that broke out in the northern Mozambican city of Nampula in 2003. I use this scandal as a way to critique ideas of 'neo-liberal occult economies'. Instead of 'occult interpretations' arising in an almost predetermined way as people revert to familiar idioms of sorcery to cope with their incomprehension at the changes wrought by neo-liberalism, I argue the Nampula organ scandal shows that it is people's particular relationship to the state explains the scandal rather than simply economic changes. That is why this particular scandal ended up speaking far more convincingly to the fears of the better-off than of the poor. <![CDATA[<b>Contesting names and statues</b>: <b>battles over the Louis Trichardt/Makhado 'city-text' in Limpopo Province, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article examines recent contestations over the commemoration of King Makhado of the Venda at the town of Louis Trichardt in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It draws on recent literature by historians and historical geographers in South Africa, Europe and the United States to assist in the analysis of the broader issues embodied in competing interpretations of commemoration. These approaches are applied to a specific case study: the recent controversy over the process of renaming the town of Louis Trichardt/Makhado and the subsequent erection of the King Makhado statue in Louis Trichardt along with the removal of the statue of Louis Trichardt. The controversy focused primarily on the scale and impact of the newly adopted name. The article analyses the politics behind this debate over commemoration. It concludes that the commemoration was an intentional, purposeful plan of the provincial government of Limpopo to rewrite not only the history of the town, but of the whole province in an effort to highlight the historical significance and contributions of African warrior kings who they felt had been marginalised over the years. The article also contends that 'city-texts' in Limpopo province represent an emerging social-political agenda that is prioritising towns and cities as places of commemoration, sometimes at the expense of Afrikaner memorials, and reflects on the utility of the concept of 'scale' as a way of understanding the changing politics of commemoration in Louis Trichardt/ Makhado. <![CDATA[<b>Reading visual representations of 'Ndabeni' in the public realms</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This essay outlines and analyses contemporary image representations of Ndabeni (also called kwa-Ndabeni), a location near Cape Town where a group of people became confined between 1901 and 1936 following an outbreak of the bubonic plague in the city. This location was to shape Cape Town's landscape for a little less that thirty-five years, accommodating people who were forcibly removed from the Cape Town docklands and from District Six. Images representing this place have been produced, archived, recovered, modified, reproduced and circulated in different ways and contexts. Ndabeni has become public knowledge through public visual representations that have been produced across a range of sites in post-apartheid Cape Town. I focus on three sites: the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the District Six Museum, and the Eziko Restaurant and Catering School. In each case I analyse the processes through which the Ndabeni images in question have been used and reused over time in changing contexts. I analyse the 'modalities' in which these images have been composed, interpreted and employed and in which knowledge has been mediated. I explore the contents and contexts of the storyboards and exhibition panels that purport to represent Ndabeni. Finally, I discuss potential meanings that could be constructed if the images could be read independent of the texts. <![CDATA[<b>National history in Southern Africa</b>: <b>reflections on the 'Remember Cassinga?' exhibition</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This essay outlines and analyses contemporary image representations of Ndabeni (also called kwa-Ndabeni), a location near Cape Town where a group of people became confined between 1901 and 1936 following an outbreak of the bubonic plague in the city. This location was to shape Cape Town's landscape for a little less that thirty-five years, accommodating people who were forcibly removed from the Cape Town docklands and from District Six. Images representing this place have been produced, archived, recovered, modified, reproduced and circulated in different ways and contexts. Ndabeni has become public knowledge through public visual representations that have been produced across a range of sites in post-apartheid Cape Town. I focus on three sites: the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the District Six Museum, and the Eziko Restaurant and Catering School. In each case I analyse the processes through which the Ndabeni images in question have been used and reused over time in changing contexts. I analyse the 'modalities' in which these images have been composed, interpreted and employed and in which knowledge has been mediated. I explore the contents and contexts of the storyboards and exhibition panels that purport to represent Ndabeni. Finally, I discuss potential meanings that could be constructed if the images could be read independent of the texts. <![CDATA[<b>'Remember Cassinga?' an exhibition of photographs and histories</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This essay outlines and analyses contemporary image representations of Ndabeni (also called kwa-Ndabeni), a location near Cape Town where a group of people became confined between 1901 and 1936 following an outbreak of the bubonic plague in the city. This location was to shape Cape Town's landscape for a little less that thirty-five years, accommodating people who were forcibly removed from the Cape Town docklands and from District Six. Images representing this place have been produced, archived, recovered, modified, reproduced and circulated in different ways and contexts. Ndabeni has become public knowledge through public visual representations that have been produced across a range of sites in post-apartheid Cape Town. I focus on three sites: the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the District Six Museum, and the Eziko Restaurant and Catering School. In each case I analyse the processes through which the Ndabeni images in question have been used and reused over time in changing contexts. I analyse the 'modalities' in which these images have been composed, interpreted and employed and in which knowledge has been mediated. I explore the contents and contexts of the storyboards and exhibition panels that purport to represent Ndabeni. Finally, I discuss potential meanings that could be constructed if the images could be read independent of the texts. <![CDATA[<b>The owl of minerva and the ironic fate of the progressive praxis of radical historiography in post-apartheid South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This review essay reflects on issues raised by a recent edited volume. Despiteits title and stated objectives, 'History Making and Present Day Politics' doesnot provide a broad and inclusive survey of post-apartheid South African historiographical developments. Its main topic is the unexpected demise in the post-apartheid context of the radical or revisionist approach that had invigorated and transformed the humanities and social studies during the 1970s and 1980s. Inthe context of the anti-apartheid struggle the radical historians had developed a plausible model of praxis for progressive scholarship, yet in the new post-apartheid democratic South Africa radical historical scholarship itself encountered a crisis of survival. This should not be confused with a general 'crisis' of historical scholarship in South Africa, as some of the uneven contributions to this volume contend, as that remains an active and diversely productive field due also tosubstantial contributions by historians not based in South Africa. If the dramatic and ironic fate of radical historical scholarship in the context of the transition to a post-apartheid democracy is the volume's primary topic, then it unfortunately fails to provide serious and sustained critical reflection on the origins and possible explanations of that crisis. It is argued that a marked feature of the accounts of 'history making' provided in this volume is the (former) radical historians' lack of self-reflexivity and the scant interest shown in the underlying history of their own intellectual trajectories. <![CDATA[<b>'Guns don't colonise people ...'</b>: <b>the role and use of firearms in pre-colonial and colonial Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This review essay examines a number of recent works that contribute to the history of firearms in colonial and pre-colonial Africa; two based upon new and original research (Story and Guy) and the others on reproductions of earlier seminal contributions to the historiography of firearms in Africa (Lamphear and Smaldone). Given the nature of firearms it is not surprising that the vast majority of literature on this technology focuses on their role in warfare and conflict. This is the primary concern of Smaldone's work and the Lamphear collection. However, the scholarship on the role and use of firearms in Africa has undergone considerable changes over the last half-century and, given the dramatic transformations in political context within Africa over the same period, this is hardly surprising. Storey's contribution adds important depth to the study of firearms by examining a vast range of uses to which firearms were put in South Africa, as well as the numerous ways the colonial state sought to control the trade and possession of firearms. By discussing these works together, this essay explores what, if any, new developments have taken place in the historiography of firearms in colonial and pre-colonial Africa. While there are still some massive gaps in the literature, as this essay review exposes, the history of firearms in Africa should still be seen as an exciting field of study that has a great deal to offer potential researchers. <![CDATA[<b>Crafting a story about an African interpreter on colonial South Africa's eastern frontier</b>: <b>Roger Levine's narrative of the life of Jan Tzatzoe</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A Living Man from Africa will be the first book to be published in a potentially exciting new Yale University Press series entitled 'New Directions in Narrative History'. The series editors are John Demos of Yale and Aaron Sachs of Cornell, both of whom have published prize-winning books that appeal to both popular and academic audiences. Levine employs the opening line from the Preface of Demos's The Unredeemed Captive - 'MOST OF ALL, I wanted to write a story' - as key inspiration for his own narrative choices. 'Most of all, I wanted to tel lhis [Jan Tzatzoe's] story,' Levine asserts. It is a self-reflexive focus on ways of story-telling as a way of returning history to its literary roots that is the foremost contribution of Levine's book. The book is also important as an unusually detailed and extended biography of the career of an African translator whom Levine casts as an intellectual. It thus fits within an exciting new scholarship that explores the complex processes of cross-cultural knowledge production across frontier zones in southern Africa and beyond. <![CDATA[<b>'Ontological gap' or political calculation?</b> <b>A critique of the tradition-modernity dichotomy in Mordechai Tamarkin's <i>Volk and Flock</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This review essay interrogates the theoretical underpinning of Mordechai Tamarkin's recent volume on the anti-Scab Act movement in the Cape Colony during the 1890s. Tamarkin views the opponents of the Scab Act of 1894 as victims of modernity. Since the Act's opponents were mainly Afrikaans-speaking trek farmers, he casts what could have been persuasively analysed as a class conflict between mutton and wool farmers as an ethnic conflict. As a result, his text focuses on isolating aspects of a supposed trek farmer ethnic character. A number of 'traditional' characteristics are ascribed to trek farmers that supposedly contrast with the hegemonic progressive worldview. On closer analysis, these characteristics are ill defined and cannot be sufficiently historicised. It is argued here that Tamarkin essentially took the trek farmers' assertions of the Scab Act's expected impact at face value. The result is a theoretically unsophisticated analysis of Afrikaner intra-ethnic conflict mainly affecting the Afrikaner Bond. Real historiographical gaps in the environmental and economic history of the Cape Colony are not addressed. <![CDATA[<b>Economic fables</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en When the aura of primitive communities involves closeness to nature and egalitarianism it is time to reflect upon the source of this interpretation. What story is being told, and what socio-political moral is being drawn from the image of the /Xam garnered from the Bleek and Lloyd archive? What values are being naturalised in an interpretation that foregrounds sympathy as integral to the process of interpretation? What kind of community are author, reader and subject founding? <![CDATA[<b>'... speak that I may see thee'</b>: <b>bushmen, bleek, language and race in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In historiography and folklore the Bushmen are South Africa's autochthonous founders, and the Bleek archive is a key document in the country's ongoing attempts to forge an identity. Representing Bushmen offers a critique of this enterprise, but the central argument of Shane Moran's book is that hierarchical ideas of language and its history have been central to the genesis of racial attitudes in South Africa. Bleek was a linguist before he was an ethnographer and Moran gives a careful account of Bleek's On the Origin of Language and of the global context of Bleek's scholarship. Invoking the broadest humane perspective, requiring the closest attention to textual detail and facing up to the evasions and disappointments of early twentieth-century South Africa, Moran's book concludes with a recognition that we have room for action and grounds for hope. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902010000100018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en