Latin American Report - Volume 24, Issue 1, 2008
Volume 24, Issue 1, 2008
Source: Latin American Report 24, pp 2 –3 (2008)More Less
In its mission statement, the UNISA Centre for Latin America clarifies that the purpose of the journal UNISA Latin American Report is "a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal of research and commentary relating to Latin. Its purpose is to promote scholarly understanding of, and general information about, that Continent. It features research articles, commentary, interviews, news and information, reports and book reviews". This mission statement has over the years been met, by and large. However, there has been a temporary suspension to the publication of this journal. In 2010 UNISA Press directorate requested that publication of this journal be resumed so that both the Press and the university should continue to benefit from potential subsidies from the South African Department of Higher Education. In order to revive the journal, this first issue (published in 2010) sought articles from African scholars reflecting on the arts, literature, music and education of Africa and Latin America.
Author Murenga Joseph ChikoweroSource: Latin American Report 24, pp 4 –9 (2008)More Less
One of the key goals of teaching world literature is to open dialogue between different geographical spaces and cultures, while seeking to connect them, to gain new perspectives by outsiders looking in and vice-versa, while also constantly interrogating the role of art itself to human experience across historical epochs. In this paper, I propose a fresh perspective on Latin American literature with emphasis on its significance to the African student of world literature. I begin by delineating the unique relationship between Latin America and Africa before delving into the specific relevance of Latin American literature to the African student. The historical role of South America as the destination of millions of African slaves forms the backdrop to this analysis. Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Suriname, Ecuador and other Latin American countries boast significant populations of African descent whose cultures - including artistic ones - are still influenced and shaped by contemporary African as well as slave experiences. Similarly, African letters are also haunted, shaped and influenced by Latin American literary narratives.
Not "equally post-colonial"? Narrative convergence and postcolonial realities in Latin American and African literatureAuthor Senayon S. OlaoluwaSource: Latin American Report 24, pp 10 –24 (2008)More Less
Against the backdrop of the understanding that postcolonial nations are not equally so, this paper reexamines the claim while privileging the predisposition towards magical realism in Latin American and African texts. I argue that in spite of the difference in space and time, the commonality of colonial experience and the natural tendency of resistance in the two postcolonial spaces negate the absolutism of difference. This paper drives home its point by drawing substantial parallels between the Latin American fiction and African literary texts, especially those notable for their magical texture, based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967).
Author Kofi Poku Quan-BaffourSource: Latin American Report 24, pp 25 –34 (2008)More Less
Latin America is a region in the Southern Hemisphere consisting of 21 developing countries. Like South Africa, the countries in this region suffered from colonialism, racism, discrimination, dictatorship and all forms of injustices for several hundreds of years. This historical reality has left Latin American countries with a socio-economic and political legacy which includes illiteracy, lack of skills for employment, poverty, a high crime rate, environmental neglect and destruction. The countries in Latin America use non-formal adult and youth education programmes, dubbed Popular Education, to address the socio-economic and political problems mentioned above and to enhance social cohesion. Working through the philosophy of popular education in collaboration with civic, political and religious organisations, adults and youths, especially the rural poor, made up of illiterate women, men, the unemployed and the landless indigene are taught various socio-economic skills for job creation; rights and responsibilities of living with people from diverse backgrounds in a multicultural environment. This article discusses some of the non-formal education programmes and strategies employed in the region and argues that with a similar history and legacy South Africa can learn a lot from the countries of Latin America. Through adult and youth nonformal education South Africa can teach its rural poor, especially unemployed women and youths civic responsibilities, rights, conflict resolution, tolerance and love (ubuntu), patriotism and job creation to ensure sustainable community development.
Author Urther RwafaSource: Latin American Report 24, pp 35 –47 (2008)More Less
The aim of this article is to establish lessons that can benefit Africa from the Chilean experiences of violence and mass murder in the 1970s. The search for lessons is done through a comparative exploration of the Chilean film Machuca (2004) and the Rwandan film Sometimes in April (2005). The importance of Machuca (2004) is that it traces and represents the epistemic conditions that can lead to violence and mass murder while Sometimes in April (2005) depicts the actual occurrences of mass murder which characterized the Rwandan genocide. The argument of this article is that although Chile experienced mass murder in the 1970s, Rwanda in particular, and Africa in general, failed to capitalize on the Chilean experiences in order to avoid a genocide which occurred in Rwanda in 1994. To support this argument, this article highlights points of intersection, commonalities and differences between the Latin American social conditions and Africa that can encourage violence and mass murder. The Chilean mass murder and the Rwandan genocide are important to research on so that the two countries provide lessons that can be used to denounce the use of violence to solve political issues in Third World countries.
Author Katy KhanSource: Latin American Report 24, pp 48 –57 (2008)More Less
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira have become music sensations in the American music industry. The aim of this article is to explore how the two female musicians depict gender, class and racial struggles through musical lyrics. These struggles manifest themselves through the exciting, contradictory and sometimes bitter game of love in which lovers labour themselves to create social and cultural identities. While Jennifer Lopez is fond of R&B, Pop, dance pop and Latin pop, Shakira has created a niche in Brown-eyed soul, Latin pop, pop rock and dance. Apart from exploring social contradictions in the music of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, this article is keen to suggest reasons why Shakira's robust, rebellious and sexually suggestive dances appeal to the American music fans and those of the world over.
Author Maurice Taonezvi VambeSource: Latin American Report 24, pp 58 –63 (2008)More Less
Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu is, in South Africa, credited with popularizing the description of South African people as the Rainbow nation. However, in traditional Southern African societies the symbol of a rainbow conjures diverse meanings. For some, the appearance of a rainbow before a thunderstorm suggests heavy rains. For others, a rainbow is a harbinger of a dry day or season. Yet for others the appearance of a rainbow while a bank of rain clouds is building, means that the rainbow could end the possibility of heavy rains. But the charm from the dappled collages that is the rainbow could not escape the notice of some Southern African societies. For these societies, the unity in diversity of the "clashing" colours of a rainbow suggests the possibility of mutual co-existence amongst the people. In the context of post-1994, the term "rainbow" brings with it new connotations. It implies tolerance of each other's views by a diverse South African people who are meeting "at the rendezvous of victory', at work places, and above all, the merging of literary voices attempting to give form to their longing for a durable South African nation. Within the arts, the "rainbow" might symbolise a congerie of creative imaginations, all characterized by what Andries Walter Oliphant describes as the "ironies and contradictions" that have emerged from post-apartheid historical context and have entered public life as a perennial discourse on freedom in South Africa. It is these "ironies and contradictions" that this article explores in the collections of short stories At the Rendezvous of Victory and Other Stories (1999), dedicated to South Africa's ten years of Democracy. The selected stories from this anthology are representative of the South African soul, only to the extent that contributions came from blacks, Afrikaners and Indians. Though useful because it gives us a glimpse of South African expectations in the first ten years of democracy, a complicating factor is that the stories are rendered in English. It is possible to state that other "versions" of a South African literature written in the ten vernacular languages, and produced in the same period of ten years of democracy might emerge. South African oral culture and particularly urban popular has also helped readers imagine a potentially different literary rainbow. All these points do not minimize the capacity of the anthology to provide a window through which a new South African rainbow nation can be remembered, celebrated, reflected upon and continues to be re-imagine in novel ways particularly in the wake of a successful 2010 soccer show that South Africa staged.