Schlagwort-Archive: history

Ubuntu in Germany Column

Goodbye Germany: Ubuntu columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski intends to trek back to South Africa

(Editor: Alex Smit-Stachowski is speaking in her column about life as a South African now living in Germany. The South African journalist lives in Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia/ Germany).

© Ubuntu columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski will leave Germany and to go back to South Africa, her birthplace. Her most important reason for this, is love.

© Ubuntu columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski will leave Germany and to go back to South Africa, her birthplace. Her most important reason for this, is love.

I recently flew to South Africa to have a short holiday with the man I had fallen in love with. After spending five days in Johannesburg, I decided that within the next year, I will move back to my mother country.

Leaving Germany – with its modern, efficient business-like manner and thriving economy for the multicultural, often haphazard and conflicted country at the bottom of the world map is not an easy decision but one I am making for several reasons – the primary one being love.


Ubuntu in Germany Column

Doggygate bites Zuma

(Editor: Alex Smit-Stachowski is speaking in her column about life as a South African now living in Germany. The South African journalist lives in Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia/ Germany).

President Jacob Zuma has caused a furore in South Africa after his speech in Impendle,  KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Midlands on Wednesday, where he spoke of people who loved dogs more than people as “having a lack of humanity”.

© President Jacob Zuma said that dogs are belonging to white culture. A new generation of young black Africans is trying to adopt white lifestyles. Black people should stop adopting the habits of other cultures, said Zuma. (flickr/ Jimmy Rehak)

© President Jacob Zuma said that dogs are belonging to white culture. A new generation of young black Africans is trying to adopt white lifestyles. Black people should stop adopting the habits of other cultures, said Zuma. (Source: flickr/ Jimmy Rehak)


Designer Craig Native in interview

The world doesn´t need more glamour brands if there are children living on the streets

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Craig Native ist ein Modedesigner mit internationalem Ruf. Dem in absoluter Armut aufgewachsenen Modefan ist es gelungen, sich kreativ zu entfalten  und zur südafrikanischen Identität beizusteuern. Anfänglich interessierte sich dieser als Kind für Gebäude, Autos und Menschen, die er in eigene Zeichnungen untergebracht hatte. Mit zunehmendem Alter entwickelte sich seine Vorliebe für die Mode, welche mittlerweile verbunden mit südafrikanischen Elementen einen besonderen und vor allem einmaligen Touch erhalten hat. Mit der Kollektion „Native Clothing“ verfolgt der Designer einen sportlich-afrikanischen Style, welcher in der Zielgruppe der 18 bis 38-jährigen Südafrikaner große Resonanz erfährt. Glamour und Eleganz, welche vom renommierten Johannesburger Modelabel „Black Coffee“ vordergründig verfolgt werden, lehnt Craig Native vehement ab. Er untermauert, dass Eleganz immer dann überflüssig ist, solange Kinder in ärmlichen Verhältnissen auf den Straßen leben müssen. Mit dem deutschen Modeunternehmen OTTO konnte Native bereits zusammenarbeiten, indem seine Klamotten auch in Deutschland erhältlich sind. Grundsätzlich verbindet er die deutsche Mode mit Individualität und Kreativität. Sein größter  Traum wäre es, wenn er mittels seiner Fashionkreationen zum Wohlstand auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent beitragen könnte.

© South African street style by fashion designer Craig Native

© Craig Native, one of the most popular fashion designers from South Africa

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, the fashion designer from Cape Town, Craig Native. Mr. Native, you are originally from Cape Flats, the poor side of Cape Town. How did you come up with fashion?

Answer: I drew or sketched pictures to keep me occupied at home. It was not fashion but buildings, cars and sports people. In my teen years when you got more fashion conscious clothing design became interesting, especially sportswear.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: „Native Clothing“ is your fashion label, that was launched in 2000. Your collection is combining African elements, socio-political messages and sportive attributes. Who is your target group, what is „Native Clothing“ standing for and how many creations do you have realized this day?

Answer: Target group is 18- 38 years predominantly but it has not been a rule. I like making clothes for those who want to spend time thinking about their world around them being more conscious rather than not questioning choices one makes.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In the past, we have interviewed the designers from Johannesburg label „Black Coffee“, who are working very striktly on the basis of fashionableness. Do you think, that elegance could take a bigger emphasis in your style?

Answer: Growing up in poorer areas in Africa, makes me not worry about glamour and elegance. Fashion is not only about that. I would rather use fashion as a avenue to spread messages of social and environmental development of 3rs world countries. The world doesnt need another glamour brand if there are children starving and living on the street .

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are known for your interest in political matters. The African National Congress (ANC) celebrated his centenary on 8th January 2012. The ANC has been criticized many times by media. What do you think about the current developments in South Africa?

Answer: The world loves negative press it causes more sensation.  Any one who runs South Africa will have a difficult time because you cant wipe away 40 years of negative history is just over a decade. Every country will have their issues. It could be a lot worse in South Africa so I choose to look at what our government are getting right rather than what they getting wrong. The future generations I believe will help paint a different picture for South Africa.

© A model is wearing clothes designed by Craig Native

© A model is wearing clothes designed by Craig Native

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: „46664Fashion“ is a brand, which has been designed by you and your South African colleagues Chris Vogelpoel and Barbara Tosalli. 46664 was the prison number of Nelson Mandela.
What would you say to people, who are expressing their discomfort, that Nelson Mandela´s life could be commercialised by this brand?

Answer: 46664 has been endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. It would not exist without their approval. Its a legacy of that represents itself through cloth.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which designers are your role models?

Answer: I dont really have favorites and many of them aren’t world famous. I admire creatives like artists, interior designers, african crafters.

Craig Native is participating in „Cotton Made in Africa“, an initiative to support African cotton workers. His fashion is based on African styles and identities. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are still working with German fashion retailer OTTO. What is your impression of Germany, German fashion and culture?

Answer: My impression that there is a lot of individual style. The street fashion is quite interesting. It´s certainly creative and experimental.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Mr. Native, which dreams would you like to realize in regard to your private and professional life?

Answer: If my clothing can contribute towards the development of the continent of Africa then I would be happy.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Craig Native, fashion designer, thank you very much for this interview!

Understanding the Malema Debacle

An analysis to the Malema-Zuma-relationship

(Editor: Leon Schreiber*)

The circumstances surrounding Julius Malema’s suspension has been extensively covered in the South African media. But just how did such an embarrassing situation arise? Why has an organisation with a proud history of integrity reached a point where its representatives are openly calling for regime change in democratic countries, provoking racial tensions and publicly insulting its President? And why did the top six leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), including President Zuma, decide to hold an embarrassing press conference last week where they were preaching unity, while it was obvious to all observers that there are great tensions between them? The answer is to be found at the ANC’s 2007 Polokwane conference.

President Jacob Zuma is no longer supported by Julius Malema. The suspended ANCYL president is using the chaotic lack of discipline & respect and embarrassing the ANC leadership. (Quelle: flickr/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa + GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma is no longer supported by Julius Malema. The suspended ANCYL president is using the chaotic lack of discipline & respect and embarrassing the ANC leadership. (Quelle: flickr/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa + GCIS)

It was during the Polokwane conference that Zuma’s camp let the Malema genie out of the bottle. They had identified the populist talents of the newly-elected ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader, and these talents were very useful to Zuma at the time. Zuma’s supporters sat back and watched as Malema was given free rein to use whatever tactics were necessary to get rid of Zuma’s opponent at the time, Thabo Mbeki. The important point is that there were no limits to the lengths Malema was allowed to go, as illustrated by his infamous call that the ANCYL is prepared to ‘kill for Zuma’. But there was more to it than just this rhetorical flourish. Zuma’s camp allowed Malema to completely assassinate Mbeki’s character. He was also allowed to make pronouncements on the corruption and rape investigations which were being carried out against Zuma at the time. However, in the process of using Malema to advance his own political agenda (seeking the position of President), Zuma effectively sacrificed all discipline and integrity. Indeed, if integrity and discipline were still present within the ANC, Malema would never have gotten away with claiming that the alleged victim of Zuma’s rape ‘had a nice time’ whiles the case was still sub judice. In short, political expediency was regarded by Zuma to be more important than the principles of the ANC. In 2007, the ANC spectacularly surrendered all of its principles in the most public of fashions. And from Zuma’s perspective it had worked like a charm. The corruption and rape charges were controversially dropped and he was free to be elected as President of the ANC, while his opponent Mbeki was unceremoniously tossed out to sea.

During the ensuing four years, Malema has steadily lost favour with Zuma and his supporters. It appears as if Zuma initially believed that there would be no consequences to allowing discipline and respect to collapse. He may perhaps even have felt vindicated when Malema started making racist pronouncements against whites, because it gave the ANC an easy scapegoat to blame for its lack of progress in fighting poverty and inequality. If Malema could get young black South Africans to blame whites for the lack of service delivery and their continuing poverty, then the ANC’s hold on power would not be threatened by its own incompetence. This explains why the ANC initially did not even attempt to reprimand Malema for his clearly racist behaviour – it continued to work in their favour. However, the honeymoon came to an abrupt end when Malema started openly criticising Zuma, even ironically comparing him to Mbeki in an unfavourable light. Never mind his calls for nationalisation, racial violence and perhaps even regime change in Botswana (the ostensible cause for his suspension) – it was Malema’s decision to attack the Zuma camp (which includes powerful individuals like the ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe) which finally led to the marriage collapsing.

The embarrassing events of the past few months are very easy to understand when keeping the context of the Zuma-Malema relationship in mind: now that Malema has lost his value to Zuma, the ANC is trying to put the genie back into the bottle. But they will find that it is much harder to force Malema’s considerable girth back into the proverbial lamp than it was to let his (skinnier) self out back in 2007. This is because reinstating discipline and integrity will be almost impossible after it was sacrificed on the altar of Zuma’s quest for political power in 2007 for the entire world to see. The result is that Malema will continue to use the chaotic lack of discipline and respect which now rules in the ANC to embarrass the leadership. He will defy his suspension(s). He will openly criticize Zuma. He will call for a new ANC President to be elected in December. Why? Because Zuma had opened the floodgates at the Polokwane conference. And now the torrent may very well wash him away to the ocean, where he would join Mbeki in floating around aimlessly as pieces of South African political driftwood.

*Leon Schreiber is a South African PhD student in Political Science at the Free University of Berlin in Germany. The views expressed are his own. Follow Leon on Twitter @Die_Schreiberei

Sarah Britten in interview

„The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Sarah Britten ist in Deutschland weitgehend unbekannt. In Südafrika zählt sie zu den Who’s Who der nationalen Blogger- und Journalistenszene. Eigentlich kommt sie aus der Werbebranche und analysierte für ihre Doktorarbeit die nationale Identität Südafrikas aus der ökonomischen Perspektive heraus. Dementsprechend hält Sarah Britten fest, dass das Multikulti-Konzept in Südafrika besser funktioniere als in den USA oder Australien, wenn es beispielsweise um die muslimische Gemeinde geht. Zwar steht dem Land noch viel Arbeit bevor, doch verbinden eine gemeinsame Nationalflagge, Verfassung und Braai das Volk. Die infolge der Kriminalität ausgelöste Abwanderungswelle von mehrheitlich gut ausgebildeten Südafrikanern weißer Hautfarbe, welche als „brain drain“ bezeichnet wird, begegnet die Journalistin mit einer zu beobachtenden Gegentendenz. Denn zunehmend mehr Bürger kehren in ihre Heimat zurück. Die Regierung ist nun in der Pflicht, die Arbeitsbedingungen – vor allem für medizinisches Personal – zu verbessern und die Ursachen der Kriminalität anzugehen. Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit in Südafrika sieht Sarah Britten durch die geplanten Regulierungsvorhaben seitens der Regierung als nicht ausrangiert an, sondern eher als eingezwängt. Sie betont, dass die größten Leidtragenden der Secrecy Bill die Armen selbst sein werden. Deutschland besuchte Sarah Britten im Oktober 2011, wobei ihr Berlin sehr gefallen hat und sie diesen Ort auf Basis ihrer Erfahrung als beste Stadt für Touristen bezeichnet. Gegenwärtig bloggt sie für das renommierte südafrikanische Online-Medium Mail & Guardian.

© Sarah Britten, blogger, journalist and book author. She is also a blogging member of Thought Leader from Mail & Guardian.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Ms. Dr. Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author.

You completed your PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand with focus on new national identity in South African advertising industry. Is South Africa counting to the successful multicultural societies?

Answer: We have our problems but for the most part we muddle through. In one respect, we manage multiculturalism far better than most: unlike other nations, Muslims are one of our many communities and are not seen as a threat as they are in the US or Australia.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you describe South African identity? Does it exists?

Answer: South Africa is very diverse and we have a long history of division between groups. So we have had to work hard to find something we have in common. We have our flag, which is a very important symbol of the nation. There is the braai – our version of the barbecue – which is now celebrated as National Braai Day on September 24. And there are other aspects of life that only people who are South African or who live in South Africa will understand: minibus taxis, biltong, robots (traffic lights) and so on.

We also have our constitution, which celebrates its 15th birthday this February. This document is the bedrock of our democracy and I have worked closely with Media Monitoring Africa on the strategy for a campaign we are launching soon. We will be asking ordinary South Africans to publicly declare their support for our constitution, as a nation-building exercise.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South African media are reporting constantly about the brain drain phenomena, which means, that well-trained South African citizens – especially whites – are emigrating to UK, Australia oder New Zealand. How should government counteracting to this challenge?

Answer: The brain drain dominated public discourse in the earlier part of the 2000s, but in the wake of the recession, some South Africans returned. In general, government needs to improve working conditions, especially for medical staff. The underlying factors that drive emigration – mainly crime – have been there for a long time. To address crime is no simple matter, because it means tackling the root causes,  poverty and a culture of lawlessness, as well as improving policing and the criminal justice system. Affirmative action policies have also been cited as reasons driving skills from the country.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are blogging on Thought Leader, an editorial group blog of quality commentary and analysis from Mail & Guardian. Thought Leader is known as a thought-provoking forum. Do you think, that the freedom of speech & press freedom could be scrapped by the South African government (e.g. by Secrecy Bill)?

Answer: Freedom of speech and press freedom won’t be scrapped, but they will be constrained. The Secrecy Bill will have implications far beyond the media. Because it will make it more difficult for civil society to have oversight of state activities, especially corruption, it will impact all aspects of life. The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you characterize your profession as journalist and blogger? Which aims are you following with your editorial writings?

Answer: Blogging is quite different from journalism. Because it isn’t paid, I write about whatever I feel like – anything from politics to lifestyle – and I don’t spend as much time crafting it because I can’t justify it. Journalism, because I get paid for it, requires getting quotes from sources, checking facts, and crafting.

Both blogging and journalism are sidelines for me, as my main source of income is communication strategy and social media.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What kind of perception do you have from Germany and German literature?

Answer: I visited Germany in October last year – Bonn and Berlin – and enjoyed my time there. There is so much culture and history, and Berlin is the best city for tourists I have ever visited. I would recommend it to anyone. Interestingly enough, my first book was translated into German! I don’t think we see enough German literature here in South Africa. I know German literature through my university comparative literature studies, and German philosophy has had an immense impact on Western thinking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which further dreams would you like to realize, especially in editorial and literary context?

Answer: I have many projects in the pipeline – too many in fact. I would like to publish more serious fiction, as well as non-fiction and commercial crime fiction. I will be kept busy for a long time to come!

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author – thank you very much for this interview.

„I am a proud member of the ANC“

A guest article by Sibusiso Buthelezi, blogger on


© Sibusiso Buthelezi - proudly ANC member, former head in Gauteng Department of Public Transport, Roads and Work AND blogger on

Deutsche Zusammenfassung:

Mit 15 Jahren widmete sich Sibusiso Buthelezi dem Afrikanischen Nationalkongress, einer Organisation zur Vertretung der Rechte von Schwarzen. Frustiert musste er die Bevorzugung von Weißen bei Toiletten, Banken, Menschenschlangen oder Geschäften ertragen. Schilder, die mit „Whites only“ versehen waren, dominierten das Leben im Südafrika der Apartheid. Buthelezi kann sich erinnern, dass Weiße innerhalb der Geschäfte kaufen durften, während Schwarze ihren Einkauf vom Außenfenster aus abwickeln mussten. Der ANC bot ihm deshalb die Hoffnung, sich dieser Benachteiligung zu befreien. Buthelezi betrachtete den Kampf des ANC nicht als einer gegen die Weißen gerichtet, sondern vielmehr gegen ein „System des instrumentalisierten Rassismus“. Seine ANC-Mitgliedschaft verbindet er mit Eigenschaften wie Stolz und Ehre, betont Buthelezi. Der ANC ermöglichte ihm eine Beschäftigung in der Kommunal- und Länderverwaltung, wurde jedoch später durch die selbe Partei „schlecht behandelt“. Der ANC müsse noch lernen, die Fähigkeit einer führenden Partei anzunehmen, so die selbstkritische Ansicht des Parteimitglieds. Doch auf der heutigen Jahrhundertfeier besinnt sich der ANC in erster Linie auf glorreiche und vor allem auf die gefallenen Genossen. Dieser Tag widmet sich dem alten ANC-Kader wie Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Solomon Mahlangu, Bathandwa Ndondo und allen voran Nelson Mandela.

© ANC is remembering today freedom fighters like Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Solomon Mahlangu, Bathandwa Ndondo and above all Nelson Mandela.

Guest article in English:

I am a member of the African National Congress – and I am proud to be associated with this glorious revolutionary movement. I was 15 years old (1982), my late father advised that I go find the ANC as it was the only true representative of the aspirations of the people of South Africa. I had been frustrated by the „Whites only“ signs in toilets, bank queues and some shops – blacks had to buy from the window outside the shops. Schools for whites were much better than the schools I went to.

I joined the ANC with the hope of liberation. I had anger and hatred towards whites and the police. The ANC comrades that I met, way back in 1983, moved quickly to remove all racial and ethnic thoughts that lingered in my mind. By 1984 I had been exposed to the most advanced thinking about the world we live in. From the various reading materials that we brought to my house by the ANC cadres, I understood the primacy of democracy, that the struggle against apartheid was not a gripe against whites as a racial group. That ours was a principled struggle against a system of institutionalized racism. This became very clear in 1985 when Oliver Tambo commanded that the youth render the country ungovernable, thus making apartheid unworkable.

This is the ANC I joined, this is the ANC I am proud and honoured to be associated with. The ANC that taught me the principles of non-racialism and non-sexism. This is the ANC of Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. This is the ANC that produced Thabo Mbeki. The ANC of Solomon Mahlangu and Bathandwa Ndondo. The ANC that taught us never to betray the masses of our people, the thousands of ordinary people, the overwhelming majority of whom are working class Africans, who through their daily experiences, struggle and battle against adversities, together as comrades, in pursuance of the vision of a South Africa that would be a better place for all its people.

At university I got to understand the Strategies and Tactics of the ANC, the strategic content of which is the total emancipation of the black people in general, and the Africans in particular. I learned the skills of organizing communities around their basic needs. The ANC gave me the privilege of participating in the transformation of government, from municipalities to provincial administration. Two years ago, the very same ANC treated me badly (see my blog – that notwithstanding, I have been long in this organization to know that it has the capacity for introspection, self-criticism and corrective action.

I know and understand that the ANC was not well prepared to adapt to being a ruling party with control over state machinery and resources potentially for patronage. This ANC is now grappling with challenges it never prepared for, the competition for elected positions and government posts, the reality of being an open organization, that draws within its ranks even the most unscrupulous in society. It is such deviant characters that have occupied the driving seat at all levels of the organization. But this organization has survived for 100 years. I have no doubt it will cleanse itself – drawing from its capacity to introspect, self-criticise and take corrective action.

I am a proud member of the ANC. The ANC has a proud history of struggle; my generation will live to reclaim the proud character of this organization.

As we reach the critical milestone of the ANC Centenary – we owe it to the fallen hero’s to bring integrity and sacrifice back to this glorious movement of the people of South African.

Reflection on the psyche – Roger Ballen in interview

„For me the dark side has always been a source of light and energy.“

(Editor: Anne Schroeter)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Roger Ballen zählt zu den bekanntesten Fotografen Südafrikas.  In New York geboren und in Johannesburg nun lebend,  begann Ballen mit dem dreizehnten Lebensjahr mit der Kunst der Fotografie. Seine Mutter arbeitete für die renommierte Fotoagentur Magnum Photos. Ballen fotografiert jene Begebenheiten, die bei den meisten Betrachtern ein beklemmendes Gefühl auslösen dürften – eine Reflektion in die dunkle Seite der eigenen Psyche. Roger Ballen ist ein Künstler, der sehr viel Anspruch an sich selbst stellt. So ist es nicht verwunderlich, dass dieser Mensch für seine Fotokollektionen meist über fünf Jahre braucht, bis diese in Form eines Bildbandes veröffentlicht werden. „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ ist überaus erfreut, diesen interessanten Top-Fotografen interviewen und darüberhinaus exklusiv einige seiner eindrucksvollen Kunstwerke im Portal abbilden zu dürfen.

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German gateway to South Africa – the in New York City born and in Johannesburg living photographer Roger Ballen. You are known for your impressive arts in South Africa and abroad. Why did you start to photograph and what does it mean for you to catch the reality in pictures?

Answer: I bought my first camera when I was thirteen. By that stage, in the early sixties, my mother had been working for Magnum for some years. Through her conversation, and particularly her collecting, I was exposed to the work of many photographers – some of them now considered historically important. In this milieu there was a complete belief in the value of photography; and particularly in its ability to capture and convey meaning in a socio-documentary context.

© Photographer Roger Ballen from Jo´burg

© Photographer Roger Ballen from Jo´burg

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How do you choose your themes? Do you even choose them or do they come “naturally”?

Answer: My themes are multiple and ultimately very difficult to describe in words. Most of my projects take approximately five years to complete and are then published as a book. The projects evolve over time and it is next to impossible to predict the course the images will take.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Would you approve, if I say, that your photographs are scary? And if you do, why do you still take them, rather than happy and content photographs?

Answer: I believe that if a person find my images scary then that individual has been affected in a very positive way. The images have penetrated into the ’shadow side‘ the place of the psyche that we are scared to confront, to come to grips with. Most people call it the dark side. For me the dark side has always been a source of light and energy. I often mention to people that one cannot find light without knowing the dark.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which reaction do you expect from people that look at your photographs, especially when they usually have nothing to do with arts or photography, from ordinary working class people?

Answer: It is very difficult to know exactly what anybody else feels. My intentions in taking these images are to better understand myself. I do not take photographs to mimic what other people might experience or to predict how they might react. It is just not possible  for me to understand how others will relate to my images.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which messages are you promoting in your photographs?

Answer: As I get older, the meaning of the human condition is rooted in the realization that ‚knowing more is knowing less.‘ We are doomed to leave this world without any clue as to why we were here, where we came from, and where we are going. This is a fate of utter marginalization.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You have often been accused of exploiting people for your photographs. What would you answer to people who say that?

Answer: I believe that my photographs are more psychological in meaning. The images represent a psychological culture. At the same time they emanate from my own psyche. I have never considered myself  a photo journalist or a politically orientated photographer. Many of my images represent a universal sense of marginalization, alienation and the inability to cope with the chaos around us. The reason that these images still have meaning to people who know nothing about South African history is that my viewers feel that an aspect of themselves is being reflected in the image.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In 2010, you have been in Berlin. Which impressions do you have collected from Germany and Germans?

Answer: It is always difficult to generalize about a culture. Nevertheless, I have been very impressed with the cultural dynamics of Berlin.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Roger Ballen, photographer from Johannesburg, thank you very much for this interview and for  providing of your arts!

2010sdafrika-interview with photographer Zanele Muholi: