Episode #13: Activism, Part II
ACTIVISM PART II: WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR Charlotte and Emma discuss Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s anger, the politics of household budgets, militant motherhood and much more.
- We were going to dissect obituaries over Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for you – but South Africa’s Daily Maverick beat us to it;
- “During Thatcher's time in office, members of the Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) went as far as wearing stickers declaring: "Hang Nelson Mandela" until the group was banned in 1986 by an embarrassed Tory leadership. The head of the FCS at the time, John Bercow, is now the Speaker of the Commons, but he has insisted he did not take part in the Mandela-baiting.” Julian Borger, ‘The Conservative party's uncomfortable relationship with Nelson Mandela’ The Guardian 6 December 2013;
- Nelson Mandela set up The Elders in 2007 – members include Gro Harlem Brundtland, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter;
- Read ‘South Africa’s ‘rainbow nation’ is a myth that students need to unlearn’ by Daniela Gachago and Asanda Ngoasheng on The Conversation here;
- Emily Bridger, a lecturer at the University of Exeter, has written an excellent article called ‘From ‘Mother of the Nation’ to ‘Lady Macbeth’: Winnie Mandela and Perceptions of Female Violence in South Africa, 1985–91’ Gender & History Vol. 27, No. 2 (August 2015), pp. 446-464. Read more about Emily here and follow her on Twitter @EJBridger;
- Read about Nelson Mandela’s involvement in the founding of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, here…
- …and all about the Xhosa Wars here (Emma apologises for not doing a clicking x when saying ‘Xhosa’; she's shamefully out of practice);
- Want to know more about a woman who has been assigned the role of wife of a leader despite being a political organiser in her own right? Here’s Albertina Sisulu!
- Albertina Sisulu was the co-president of the United Democratic Front – UDF – in the 1980s. Read more about that here;
- Social workers can be used as part of repressive state apparatus but they have always had the potential for radical action. Vasilios Ioakimidis, who is a professor of social work at the University of Essex, has written about radical social work as a way to challenge poverty and inequality for The Guardian. Read more about Vasilios here and follow him on Twitter @vasilios_;
- Winnie was banished to Brandfort on 16 May 1977;
- South Africa's 1985 State of Emergency was incredibly violent – here's a BBC World Service Eyewitness episode that focuses on it;
- Jessica Lynne Pearson recently published an article called 'Defending Empire at the United Nations: The Politics of International Colonial Oversight in the Era of Decolonisation' in The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 45, No. 3 (2017), pp. 525-549, which you can read here. Read more about Jessica Lynne's work here;
- The British Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) has an online archive well worth visiting - www.aamarchives.org;
- Here are a few of the boycott posters produced by the AAM, available through the online archive;
- Simon Stevens is a historian of transnational mobilisations, the era of decolonization and the history of Africa in the world at the University of Sheffield. Read more about his work here and follow him on Twitter @SimonMStevens;
- Kevin O’Sullivan is a historian at NUI Galway, who specialises in empire, globalisation, development and NGOs. In 2017, he co-edited a special issue of Moving the Social: Journal of Social History and the History of Social Movements (no. 57) on Transnational Humanitarian Action: Atlantic and Global Voluntary Activities from Abolitionism to the NGOs 1800-2000. Read that issue here. An extract from Kevin’s book – Ireland, Africa and the End of Empire: Small State Identity in the Cold War, 1955-75 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013) – can be read here. Read more about Kevin here and follow him on Twitter @keosulli;
- Clare Midgley is a research professor of history at Sheffield Hallam who specialises in women’s history as it intersects with the history of the British Empire. Among her publications, you’ll find Feminism and Empire: Women Activists in Imperial Britain, 1790-1865 (London: Routledge, 2007) and ‘Slave sugar boycotts, female activism and the domestic base of British anti‐slavery culture’ Slavery & Abolition Vol. 17, No. 3 (1996), pp. 137-162, which are both excellent. Read more about Clare here;
- The very prominent anti-apartheid activist Hilda Bernstein (1915-2006), who was a member of the ANC and the CPSA/SACP, wrote an article about Theresa Ramashamola and the Sharpeville Six, which details the alleged crime, the trial and sentencing. Read ‘Who Will Sing for Theresa’ Feminist Review, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 5-9 here and read more about Hilda here. The AAM archive holds a leaflet for the 1988 International Women's Day protest against the scheduled execution of Theresa Ramashamola and other political prisoners, which you'll find here;
- Kate Law is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Chichester, who specialises in women’s history, empire and southern Africa. She is currently working on ‘Fighting Fertility? The British Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Politics of Race and Contraception in South Africa c.1980-1994’. Read more about Kate here and follow her on Twitter @drkatelaw;
- We’ve mentioned Meghan Healy-Clancy’s article on radicalised motherhood in South Africa before, but you really must read it if you haven’t already. It’s ‘The Family Politics of the Federation of South African Women: A History of Public Motherhood in Women’s Antiracist Activism’ Signs Vol. 42, No. 4 (Summer 2017), pp. 843–866. Read more about Meghan here and follow her on Twitter @MegHealyClancy;
- A SABC report filmed outside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Orlando West as crowds gather to sing struggle songs on learning about her death:
- Another SABC clip, this time from the moment Nelson Mandela walked through the gates of Victor Verster Prison in Paarl, after 27 years of incarceration, with Winnie beside him (bonus points awarded to those of you who manage to spot current South African president Cyril Ramaphosa on crowd-control duty):
- Shireen Hassim, professor of politics at the University of Witswatersrand, has published an excellent short book on the ANC Women’s League - The ANC Women’s League: Sex, Gender and Politics (Johannesburg: Jacana, 2014). Read more about Shireen here and follow her on Twitter @ShireenHassim.
- Being a political 'wife' is a difficult role - there is an interesting article here about what it means for American women and a slightly different take for the Westminster wives here;
- Charlotte quotes from June Jordan’s Poem for South African Women, which Jordan presented at the UN 9 August 1978:
THE NEXT EPISODE…
…Will be about writing. How to write, how we write, why we should write, and other women who write.
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