WINNER, BEST SOUTH AFRICAN DOCUMENTARY, 2011 DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Followed by a panel discussion with members of Abahlali baseMjondolo and War on Want about Abahlali and the ANC
Almost two decades after the end of formal apartheid, the ANC promises of ‘housing for all’ have failed to materialize, and informal settlements have mushroomed; 12 million South Africans – about 20% of the population – currently live in desperate conditions without adequate water, electricity, and sanitation. As forced mass evictions threaten to destroy the lives of families and communities under the seemingly innocuous Slums Act, this award-winning documentary, filmed with warmth and compassion, tells the awe-inspiring story of three dynamic young South African activists determined to stop the bulldozers. Together, they lead the largest social movement in their country – Abahlali baseMjondolo, or the ‘Shack Dwellers’ Movement’. Using the South African Constitution as their guide, and, despite constant threats of violence from ANC-supporters, demolitions, prison detention, and assassination attempts, the shack dwellers take the South African government to the highest court in the country to fight for their right to a home.
Dir. Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza. South Africa/USA. 2011. 93 min. Print Source: filmmaker
£6 / 5 conc / £4 memb / £4 child
Performance piece: JABULANI MASEKO
Jabulani Maseko’s performance will take place in the foyer of the Hackney Picture House from 2pm, on Monday 5 November. The performance will come to a close following the screening of ‘Dear Mandela’, and the panel discussion that accompanies it.
Maseko’s performance is free.
Maseko’s performance, at the centre of which is his own body, is a dialogue with the protests and violent killings that took place at the Lonmin platinum mines at Marikana in South Africa this year. On 16 August 2012 46 people died and 34 of the miners were shot by the police. The South African media compare the event to apartheid era violence including the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960. The media also refers to the militarisation of the police during the apartheid years; and the continuation of this legacy in South Africa today. Events at Marikana were aggravated by attempts to mobilise an unconstitutional form of Roman Dutch law as a mechanism of punishment. This meant that the South African National Prosecuting Authority charged arrested miners with the murder of their colleagues (although these charges were subsequently dropped). The events at Marikana demonstrate the ways in which the fabric of apartheid remains in a time of democracy; and makes visible the inequalities underpinning democratic processes in South Africa.