- Deon Schoeman
On 15 September, convicted rapist and murderer Frank Van Den Bleeken was granted his request to be allowed to end his life, in accordance with Belgium’s 2002 Act on Euthanasia. It was a landmark decision. Not only is Van Den Bleeken a detainee – and thus part of a population group considered particularly vulnerable to rights abuses outside of the public eye – but his case was also made solely on the basis of mental suffering. By ANDREA TEAGLE.
The greatest threat to the safety of Africa’s elephants is not the poachers who prey on them for their tusks; rather it’s the governments of many of their homelands who lack the political will to ensure their safety. Indeed these very governments are in many cases complicit in the demise of these great animals. By SHAUN SWINGLER.
A stellar line-up of some of South Africa’s best-loved musicians including Hugh Masekela, Vusi Mahlasela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bakithi Kumalo, Abdullah Ibrahim David Kramer, Dizu Plaatjies, Simphiwe Dana, Toya DeLazy, Pretty Yende and many more will feature in the month-long Ubuntu Festival that will take place at Carnegie Hall. If you’re in New York between 8 October and 5 November, consider yourself blessed. By MARIANNE THAMM.
‘Sober Indian | Dangerous Indian’ is the politically incorrect story of the unofficial ‘dop’ system on tribal reservations in the USA. Some activists say alcohol abuse keeps Native American people downtrodden, but there are also moves to legalise drinking on the reservations. MARELISE VAN DER MERWE reviews a tricky documentary.
In a world where the sea harvest is getting less bountiful by the month, a young boy (Stephen Erasmus) and his perlemoen-poaching granddad (Dylan Esbach) get conscripted as crew on to a terrifying fully-mechanised submarine by a wily pirate (Jason Potgieter). After hearing the pirate talk of the robotic submarine captain’s (Shaun Acker) nefarious capitalist plot to harvest “the bounty of the ocean”, the two come to the horrifying realisation that they were hired solely to be bait for the largest fish of all… The Kraken. By CARLA LEVER.
Wild, angry protests in London as the Barbican Centre opened South African artist Brett Bailey’s installation, Exhibit B, draw attention to the conflicted way people have reacted to Bailey’s controversial work that helps shine a spotlight on British reactions to Africa and Africans. Does this protest and the angry debate that has followed these protests mean Bailey has really gotten under the skin of people? Veteran arts journalist and editor ROBERT GREIG reports from London on the resulting cultural donnybrook.
The was a time when the bigger a car’s engine, the more powerful it was – and the more power, the better. Those big Chevs and Fords, with their acres of chrome and thirsty V8s, were on every petrolhead’s wish list. These days, compact is cool, and engines are getting smaller. The Renault Mégane GT-Line is a case in point. By DEON SCHOEMAN.
From a young American dressing up as slain Trayvon Martin to local students dressing as the Williams sisters at a 21st birthday party, the worldwide furore over various incidents of white people wearing blackface in recent months has been fairly black and white. Responses either boil down to “get a life, it’s funny” or “stop doing it, it’s offensive”. But what nobody seems to be doing is interrogating why people are laughing. And what’s behind this 'blackface' thing? By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Few can claim to have personally met and befriended quite as many ANC leaders in exile the 1970s as Conny Braam, one of the founders of the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement. Oliver Tambo, Dr Yusuf Dadoo, Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo, Mac Maharaj, a young Thabo Mbeki and many others all crossed paths with Braam, who played a key role in the ANC’s 1986 underground Operation Vula. Braam has just visited South Africa to research her next book. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The Prophet T.B. Joshua, of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations, recently released an official press statement explaining the collapse of the guesthouse that killed 84 South Africans. In the Prophets world, where visions abound, this was no mere construction failure, but an attack by nameless aircraft. RICHARD POPLAK looks heavenward for signs.
For the ordinary South African, AAD is either an utterly unknown event or, if you happen to live near Centurion, that thing that happens every two years that creates a hell of a noise. Nonetheless, this Saturday and Sunday saw AAD's gates at Waterkloof Airforce Base opened to the public to view some genuinely amazing aerobatics. This year is no exception. By JOHN STUPART.
You’re spoilt for choice this month with things to do in Cape Town, but don’t let a crammed calendar put you off checking out the Cape Town Month of Photography. You can take in some 120 exhibitions or dust off your camera and learn something about the art form yourself, writes MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Most modern cars are created to commute. But a select few are born to perform. It doesn’t take rocket science to work out which group the Subaru WRX STi belongs in. In fact, just the STi badge confirms the muscle sedan’s performance credentials. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the new generation version of a performance car legend.
International arrivals at South African airports are greeted with an image of happy tourists on the back of an elephant experiencing, according to the wording, “Wild and Free Africa”. Few make the connection that the elephant is both tamed and decidedly un-free. And it’s going to get worse, much worse, for elephants if proposals by the Department of Environmental Affairs become law. By KAREN TRENDLER for Working Wild.
Most theatre festivals in the world start small and grow from there. Not the inaugural Cape Town Fringe, which kicks off on 25 September for eleven days with a dizzying array of over 100 productions to be staged in venues across the city. But will Capetonians come out in their droves? By MARIANNE THAMM.