Cafe de Move On Blues

In Cafe de Move On Blues I plan to look at people like me, both English and Afrikaans whites, across the country, in an attempt to say who they are (and who they think they are) and how they react to life in the new South Africa. I once took the view, in the classic definition offered by Mandela and other traditional ANC leaders like Tambo, that South African belongs to all who live in it. I think now that this might paint a too rosy a picture; it’s an admirable ambition but one which ignores the long and bitter history of whites when they were running the apartheid state, most of them happily and without protest; or of whites in other countries in Africa where, eventually, they had no future, except as a few silent participants who might live, and even thrive commercially, but played no part in the life, the politics, the culture of the country. An example of where I see South African whites a few decades down the road, would be the Straits Chinese of Malaysia, still there after centuries but on sufferance: they have no standing and no voice. Looking at my compatriots right now, the interesting thing is to ask the question – of them, of myself, of history – is their time now up?

Project leader(s):
  • Christopher Hope (Artist-in-residence)

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