Schlagwort-Archive: society

Oscar Pistorius – between anger and opinions

A Nation without empathy? A frightening thought

(Author: Norah Ngobeni)

Throughout Oscar Pistorius’ verdict and sentencing, I was saddened and alarmed at how vindictive and opinionated we can be as a society. Most of us had something to say on the subject either through the social media, print, radio and television as well as to friends, family and colleagues, anyone who could listen including strangers. In between our anger and opinions as well as playing judge, we sometimes failed to reflect on other issues pertinent to the case.

Mike Mackay

© The Oscar Pistorius’ verdict shows how vindictive the South African society is. Anyone is judging on social media. But this situation could be a danger for the community. Citizens failed to reflect on other issues pertinent to the case. (Source: flickr/ Mike Mackay)

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„Versöhnung ist ein nie endender Prozess“

Im Interview mit Antjie Krog, Schriftstellerin und Journalistin

(Autor: Ghassan Abid)

© Antije Krog zählt zu den führenden Schriftstellern in Südafrika. Ihre literarischen Werke zur Aufarbeitung der Apartheid machten die in Kapstadt lebende Autorin international bekannt. Im Vorfeld ihres Auftritts auf dem "Internationalen Literaturfestival Berlin" stand Krog für ein Interview mit "SÜDAFRIKA - Land der Kontraste" zur Verfügung. (Quelle: Krzysztof Zielinski)

© Antije Krog zählt zu den führenden Schriftstellern in Südafrika. Ihre literarischen Werke zur Aufarbeitung der Apartheid machten die in Kapstadt lebende Autorin international bekannt. Im Vorfeld ihres Auftritts auf dem „Internationalen Literaturfestival Berlin“ stand Krog für ein Interview mit „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ zur Verfügung. (Quelle: Krzysztof Zielinski)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Antjie Krog zählt zu den führenden Schriftstellern Südafrikas. Die in Kapstadt lebende Autorin ist international für ihre Analysen des Lebens in Südafrika bekannt. Sie beleuchtet nicht nur die Lebenswirklichkeit der weißen, sondern auch die der schwarzen Bevölkerung. In ihrem bislang populärsten Buch „Country of My Skull” befasste sie sich mit der Aufarbeitung der Apartheid im Rahmen der Wahrheits- und Versöhnungskommission. Sie hält fest, dass die Versöhnung ein nie endender Prozess ist.

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Ubuntu in Germany Column

Award-winning photographer Jodi Bieber exhibits her pictures in Germany

(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 in Germany visited Jodi Bieber’s photo exhibition in Goch).

© Jodi Bieber at the Goch Museum (Source: Alexandra Smit-Stachowski)

© Jodi Bieber at the Goch Museum (Source: Alexandra Smit-Stachowski)

Multiple World Press Photo winner, Jodi Bieber is not the mom of famous Justin, despite several amusing incidents at airports. The bouncy, curly-haired 40-something who hails from Johannesburg, is exhibiting her work, “Between Darkness and Light” at the Goch Museum until May 26.

Many only discovered Jodi because of her iconic image of Aisha, the Afghan woman whose face was badly scarred after she was ‘punished’ by the Taliban for fleeing her abusive in-laws. The picture is unsettling because of the scarring but also of Aisha’s quiet resolution – a sign for other abused woman that they can survive, despite it all.

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Johannesburg-Bloggerin Laurice Taitz im Interview

Eine Frau über ihr Engagement für ein „schönes Johannesburg“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Johannesburg ist eine Stadt, die mit vielen negativen Begleiterscheinungen einer Metropole in Verbindung gebracht wird – Kriminalität, Rassismus, Verkehrschaos, Armutsviertel und Arbeitslosigkeit. Laurice Taitz hingegen bloggt nur Positives aus und zu Jo´burg. Sie liebt ihren Wohnort, den man aus verschiedenen Perspektiven her betrachten müsse. Arme und Reiche leben hier beinahe nebeneinander. Viele Gesellschaften sind in einer Gesellschaft integriert. Die einstige Goldgräberstadt hat sich zu einer riesigen Heimat von Millionen von Menschen unterschiedlichster Herkunft, Religion, Sozialschicht und Nationalität entwickelt. Die Innenstadt mit dem Constitution Hill, dem Verfassungsgerichtshof Südafrikas, bewertet die Bloggerin als schönsten Ort Johannesburgs. Ebenso faszinieren sie die seit hundert Jahren bestehende Public Library, die öffentlichen Kunstinstallationen, das künstlerisch-hippe Viertel Maboneng, die Shopping-Straßen unweit der Diagonal Street und das äthiopische Viertel im Osten der Stadt. „Die Stadt ist voller Gegensätze und Plätze, die es zu entdecken gilt“, sagt Laurice. Und dennoch bevorzugen Europäer eher Kapstadt aufzusuchen. Sie selber war bereits zweimal in Deutschland und auch in Berlin. Die deutsche Hauptstadt beneidet sie für ihre schöne Architektur. „Es ist ein Ort, welcher viele Lektionen für Südafrika bereithält“, hält sie abschließend fest.

© Johannesburg is offering a reams of public arts (Picture Source: www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© Johannesburg is offering a reams of public arts (Picture Source: http://www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© Laurice Taitz, Blogger from Johannesburg

© Laurice Taitz, Blogger from Johannesburg

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German Gateway to South Africa – the in Johannesburg based blogger Laurice Taitz.

You started your blog „nothing to do in joburg besides…“, in which you present a cultural view on this megacity. What is Johannesburg standing for?

Answer: Johannesburg is a city on the move. It was founded on a gold rush and it remains true to that, a city that in parts flashes its wealth and that also hides a rich seam of gold. It can be a difficult place to get to know but for me it’s a vibrant urban African metropolis.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which is from your point of view the most beautiful place in Johannesburg and for which reason?

Answer: The inner city is the most beautiful place because every time I am there I see that the huge efforts to revive it are showing results. Some of my favourite sites include: Constitution Hill, where the values of one of the most progressive constitutions in the world are brought to life each day; Johannesburg’s newly-renovated Public Library, a 100-year-old architectural masterpiece; the city’s growing collection of public art; the up-and-coming hip urban district of Maboneng; the maze of shopping streets of old Johannesburg around Diagonal street; the Ethiopian district on the east side of the city; and Braamfontein’s lively streetlife.

Diagonal Street on Google Street View

The city is full of contrasts, and places to explore. And while you didn’t ask, the second most beautiful place is Johannesburg’s suburbs in spring when the jacaranda trees are in bloom and this tree-lined city is full of purple blossoms.

© The Public Library in Johannesburg (Picture Source: www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© The Public Library in Johannesburg (Picture Source: http://www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You demonstrate on your blog mostly lovely sights of Johannesburg. Why aren´t you writing on difficult topics like crime, poverty, xenophobia or corruption?

Answer: While I focus on what I love about the city and what it has to offer I never shy away from dealing with its less comfortable aspects, as these are part of the city’s challenges. As a former political reporter I am also acutely aware of giving readers the full story. I just don’t dwell on it because I see enormously positive changes taking place.

© Johannesburg is the home of different cultures (Picture Source: www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© Johannesburg is the home of different cultures (Picture Source: http://www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Today, South Africa has developed a huge blogging scene. How would you evaluate the importance of blogs for the public opinion making process in South Africa?

Answer: I think that particularly the Joburg blogs that have emerged are helping to shape a new perception of the city for locals and foreigners. So many voices, filled with pride, in exploring a city, discovering its secrets and creating a sense of belonging from diverse perspectives.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Johannesburg is a big cosmopolitan city with many cultures and nationalities. Do you think that in Joburg is one society or rather several societies living side by side?

Answer: It depends where you stand. You can choose a pocket of the city and never see what’s beyond that corner but I think Joburg is many societies in one. A place where rich and poor live side by side, not always easily, and where people from all over Africa and the world congregate. The mix is what makes this city exciting.

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The most Germans and Europeans are preferring to live in Cape Town as in Johannesburg. How far could you understand this decision and which pros is Joburg providing?

Answer: I think people from Europe are easily seduced by Cape Town’s incredible beauty and promise of a cosmopolitan lifestyle. Who isn’t? But saying that, Joburg has a perceptible pulse all year round, and that makes it an exciting place to be with its mix of people, cultures, commerce and arts.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which perception do you have from Germany and Germans?

Answer: I have visited Germany twice and each time been struck by a country that has rebuilt itself into a modern and dynamic society and that continues to deal with its past but is looking to its future. It is a place that has many lessons for South Africa. I also fell in love with Berlin’s incredible architecture and hope to visit again soon.

© A spirit mix of religion and arts in Jo´burg (Picture Source: www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© A spirit mix of religion and arts in Jo´burg (Picture Source: http://www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Laurice Taitz, blogger from Jo´burg, thank you very much for this urban interview!

2010sdafrika-Interview mit dem Architekten Luyanda Mpahlwa zur Johannesburger Städtekultur:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/johannesburg-im-architektur-boom/

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!

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.