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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - "Wie sal ons onthou?" : die gehoorlid se ongemaklike posisie in Deon Opperman se "Tree aan!" : geesteswetenskappe

 

Abstract

Deon Opperman het sy musiekblyspel "Tree aan!: Dit was die dae toe ons troepies was" (2011) geskryf as lewende monument om die soldate wat in die Grensoorlog gesneuwel het, te huldig. Dit dien ook om te keer dat die geskiedenis van hierdie oorlog uitgewis word, 'n uitwissing waarna daar, volgens Opperman, daadwerklik gestreef word. Opperman benader hierdie taak op 'n restouratief-nostalgiese wyse, ten spyte van die kontroversie rondom die Grensoorlog en die verdeeldheid daaroor in die openbare domein. In hierdie artikel dui ek drie dinge aan: (i) dat Opperman op restouratief-nostalgiese en verwronge wyse met die geskiedenis omgaan; (ii) dat "Tree aan!" 'n omkering is van sy debuutdrama, (1986), ten opsigte van die verteenwoordiging van Afrikanernasionalisme; en (iii) dat "Tree aan!" die gehoorlid in 'n ongemaklike posisie plaas ten opsigte van die huldiging van hierdie geskiedenis. Ek doen dit deur eerstens die kriteria vir die doel, funksie en hantering van feite in historiese fiksie te bepaal aan die hand van onder andere Van Coller (2011) se studie in hierdie verband. Tweedens beskryf ek die eienskappe van propaganda en die aard van teater as stelsel van veranderlikes, en derdens ontleed ek beide en "Tree aan!" volgens bogenoemde kriteria. Ek kom dan tot die gevolgtrekking dat "Tree aan!" sekere feite wat in die historiografie aanvaar word, misken of versluier. Daar vind verder 'n hiërargiese verskuiwing binne Opperman se eie oeuvre plaas wat duidelik word wanneer "Tree aan!" met vergelyk word. Laastens dwing "Tree aan!" die gehoor in 'n beperkende keuse in wat in die huidige diskursiewe klimaat, waar kwessies rondom die Grensoorlog steeds onopgelos en kompleks blyk te wees, onaanvaarbaar is.


Deon Opperman wrote his musical "Tree aan!: Dit was die dae toe ons troepies was" (2011; Fall in!: Those were the days when we were troops) as a living monument to pay homage to the fallen soldiers of the Border War who were not recognised in Freedom Park. The musical is, therefore, a political event from the start, written and performed within a larger political context. Like Opperman's earlier historical musical about the Anglo-Boer War, "Ons vir jou" (2008), "Tree aan!" led to a polemic in the Afrikaans press. While columnists like Flip Buys and Leopold Scholtz felt that "Tree aan!" was important in commemorating the former SADF soldiers for their contribution to the South African democracy today, philosopher Anton van Niekerk saw these allegations as preposterous since the Border War remains controversial and issues surrounding it unresolved. Indeed, conflicting works of fiction and non-fiction about the Border War are still being published today, and in Opperman's own oeuvre the Border War is always relevant, especially in his debut drama, (1986; Tomorrow is a long day). However, the polemic surrounding "Tree aan!" calls its political implications into question.
As historical fiction, "Tree aan!" fulfils specific functions and purposes that are influenced by its genre as a musical drama: it is inextricably part of a specific context with political implications. In this article I intend to point three things out: (i) that "Tree aan!" interprets historical events in a restoratively nostalgic and distorted manner; (ii) that "Tree aan!" is an inversion of Opperman's earlier with regard to the representation of Afrikaner nationalism, and (iii) that the musical places the audience member in an uncomfortable position regarding the commemoration of this history. I will, therefore, first give an explanation of the purpose, functions and treatment of facts within historical fiction according to Van Coller's (2011) typology. I will then describe the characteristics of propaganda and the nature of theatre as a system of variables. Lastly, I will analyse both and "Tree aan!" to show how these two texts represent almost opposite positions regarding war and the role of gender in war.

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/content/litnet/10/3/EJC147719
2013-12-01
2016-12-03
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