Transition Special Offer - Mandela, 116




In conjunction with our special commemorative issue on Nelson Mandela (116), we offer open access to six related articles from our archives.


Letter from South Africa

by Bessie Head, Transition 11, 1963
"South Africa is an intensely lonely, intensely sad country....Suddenly that happy, warm laughing world is shattered and you are left alone to face a horror too terrible to contemplate."

Profile of an Afrikaner

by Hilda Bernstein, Transition 23, 1965
"Of all people, it is this white man, this Afrikaner, who reminds us of what apartheid rulers would like people to forget: that the struggle against white oppression and racialism is every man's fight."

Mandela, Messianism, and the Media

by Rob Nixon, Transition 51, 1991
"From the outset, the South African state seemed to fear that Mandela possessed a talent for immortality."

"An Everybody Claim Dem Democratic": Notes on the "New" South Africa

by Rob Nixon, Transition 54, 1991
"Discourse about South Africa during 1990-91 resonates with all these obsessive forms of the beyond: the New South Africa, the postapartheid era, the end of apartheid....On this sense of an ending so much depends. So many tradeoffs, so many returns hang on the conditional 'only when apartheid has ended.'"

The Soweto Witch Project

by Adam Ashforth, Transition 81/82, 2000
"Sometimes it seemed as if misfortune became more bearable for having a name; to suffer the afflictions of apartheid was to serve freedom, the noble cause of destiny."

Retracing Nelson Mandela through the Lineage of Black Political Thought

by Xolela Mangcu, Transition 112, 2013
"The distortion of history owes also to the tendency to describe political transition from apartheid to democracy as a miracle made possible by Nelson Mandela and F. W. De Klerk. What we do not get from this heroic, one-dimensional presentation of Mandela is any sense of the influences that shaped his thinking over time."

Image credit: Street Art mural of Mandela, June 20, 2013.  Photo courtesy of ©2013 ESFP.

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