plep Archive

15th December
Make That Difference. Free clicks for charity portal; many sites collected here.

' Flushing Meadows - so called because it had water-borne sanitation - and lighting masts, Site B, Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Cape, 11 October 1987 ' Photo by David Goldblatt.

Computers and Apartheid.

Apartheid in the Holy Land. By Desmond Tutu.
'In our struggle against apartheid, the great supporters were Jewish people. They almost instinctively had to be on the side of the disenfranchised, of the voiceless ones, fighting injustice, oppression and evil. I have continued to feel strongly with the Jews. I am patron of a Holocaust centre in South Africa. I believe Israel has a right to secure borders. '
'What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence. I've been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about ... '

You Won't Break Them, General Sharon, by Breyten Breytenbach, South African poet and formet dissident.

Life as a Soweto Shopsteward.

Johannesburg: Shanty City, Instant City. 'They say Rome wasn't built in a day but Johannesburg was. One day, supposedly, there was naked veld, and the next there was a shanty town of tin and canvas shacks full of white men looking for gold. And round the back of the shacks there was another, even poorer shanty town, full of black men recruited to help the white men sift the nuggets out of the earth, and women of all colours who drifted in to serve the unpredictable needs of these men of different colours. '
Jo'burg is a rare place: a great city that is neither built beside a coastline nor on a navigable river or lake. Gold, not water, is its reason for existence.
Making History: South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, by Gillian Slovo. 'Can society's need for healing override the search for justice? The apartheid system that murdered Gillian Slovo's mother faced its crimes not in a courtroom, but in a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearing. In making her experience part of South Africa's search for the truth of its past, she explains how the country's innovative TRC helped reconcile it to its devastating wounds. '
Via wood s lot.

Unearthing Indigenous Euroamericans. 'The enormous interest in Kennewick Man certainly has much to do with its appeal as a historical and scientific phenomenon. This doesn't account for the controversy, however. Kennewick Man ultimately is a symbol of who controls history and, more important, who controls the way history is composed by those with a stake in its composition. '
Via wood s lot.

Treesit Blog. 'By Remedy an activist who has been sitting 150 feet up an ancient Redwood in Freshwater, California. She has been in her tree Jerry for over 8 months as part of a community's protest to save their forests and watershed. '

Walter Potter - A Case of Curiosities. Stuffed animals - brilliant stuff.
Via Excitement Machine and Geisha Asobi.

14th December
Home again, safe and sound.

Apartheid Museum. 'The Apartheid Museum is the story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. '
'Beginning in 1948, the white elected National Party government initiated a process which turned over 20 million people into 2nd class citizens, damning them to a life of servitude, humiliation and abuse. Their liberation in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela, the prisoner who became president, is a climax in the saga of a nations resistance, courage and fortitude.'
'The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid: The racially prejudiced system that blighted much of its progress and the triumph of reason which crowned half a century of struggle ... '

District 6 Museum. A township in Cape Town.
'In 1989 ex-residents of District Six envisaged a museum to commemorate the area and honour the people who fought against the forced removals and the Group Areas Act. '
'On 10 December 1994, the District Six Museum opened with its first exhibition Streets - Retracing the Past ... '

From Jo'burg to Jozi. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
'Foreigners think we're nuts, coming back to a doomed city on a damned continent, but there's something you don't understand: it's boring where you are. You'll probably live longer than us and acquire more possessions, but there's no ferment in your societies, no excitement, no edge. Your newspapers are bland and your politics are inconsequential, so many storms in teacups. You want crises? We've got real ones Aids, 40% unemployment, the highest rape and murder rates on the planet and a government that wants to put blacks in our national rugby team, just on principle. We're talking stuff that's really worth fighting about, with real fire in the belly. We're talking about a country where life is an insane gamble that'll end in blinding light or darkest disaster, and there's absolutely no way of knowing which. '

The Zulu Love Letter. 'Among the tribes of Southern Africa, the Ndebele and the Zulu make most use of beads and do so with great artistry. But it is to the Zulu womenfolk that credit is given for a unique achievement - the use of beads as love letters which they send to their menfolk. However, bead symbolism is also found not only among the Ndebele and the Zulu, but also among other tribes such as the Tembu, Swazi, Bavenda and others ... '

Zulu Bead Tales. 'When the young Zulu men left home to work on farms or distant towns, they had no knowledge of writing by which messages could be recorded, and so developed a form of symbolism, whereby messages were conveyed between lovers in "the language of beads", and thus was born the Zulu love letter. '

Alexandra Renewal Project. Reviving a Johannesburg township.

'A cockney pub landlady has been named as one of the most influential figures in the modern art world with Charles Saatchi, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and a dozen American billionaires.'
Mystery Enshrouds Kola Boof, Writer and Internet Persona.
Via Follow Me Here.

Entrances to Hell around the UK.