Posts Tagged ‘rhodes must fall’

loyiso

There’s probably going to be a lot of empty plinths in South Africa’s major centres soon – well, if this country’s self-styled landscape decolonisers get their way. The problem is: all those statues of Van Riebeeck will probably end up being replaced by statues of other particularly dour and/or problematic personages. So we want to propose something different: put up some statues of popular artists. But which ones would be most suitable? Here are a few proposals.

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Albie Sachs says that when he grew up, he didn’t exactly see Cecil John Rhodes as Mr Nice Guy. But when he was at the University of Cape Town, the ethos was to be friendly to him. Although bothered by the presence of Rhodes, Sachs says they had bigger battles to fight at the time. There was academic integration, but social segregation on campus. Obviously all that has now changed.

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Rhodes fell in Cape Town, so needless to say being back in Grahamstown this year for my sixth Festival has been a very strange, polarising, yet enriching experience. Last year I skipped it without flinching: I felt I had outgrown the town and the Festival. Now don’t get me wrong: I count myself lucky to have studied my undergrad degree at Rhodes University.

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