The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Singing against Apartheid: ANC cultural groups and the international anti-Apartheid struggle

Singing against Apartheid: ANC cultural groups and the international anti-Apartheid struggle
Singing against Apartheid: ANC cultural groups and the international anti-Apartheid struggle
This article explores the ways in which music, together with cultural forms such as poetry, theatre and dance, was used to garner international support for the struggle against apartheid. It focuses on two of the African National Congress's most significant projects in this realm: Mayibuye, an agitprop group that achieved considerable success in Europe in the 1970s; and Amandla, which travelled widely as a party ambassador during the 1980s, offering large-scale performances incorporating music, theatre and dance. A central motivation for the article was documenting the work of these two ensembles, both of which made significant contributions to the development of cultural activity and yet remain virtually undocumented in the history of the movement and the struggle. The article's primary analytical interest is in how black South African popular culture came to play a role in the movement's work in exile, how it was recruited and re-packaged in order to appeal to foreign audiences, and the relationship between this and cultural activity that was more internally focused. The distinction between culture's role in external propaganda work as opposed to internally-focused nation-building - although not often clearly made in ANC discourse - helps to situate the contributions of these two groups within the larger context of culture and the struggle. Further, it helps to explain the difficulties faced by those trying to revive Amandla in post-apartheid South Africa, an initiative that ultimately has not come to fruition. In exploring how music was mobilised by the ANC in the international arena, the article seeks to understand the importance and distinctive value of propaganda-focused cultural activity to the movement, as well as its necessary and inevitable limitations.
1868144569
Wits University Press
Gilbert, Shirli
cfcf5762-80b5-4417-a9cd-5eb3860b9bdc
Olwage, Grant
Gilbert, Shirli
cfcf5762-80b5-4417-a9cd-5eb3860b9bdc
Olwage, Grant

Gilbert, Shirli (2008) Singing against Apartheid: ANC cultural groups and the international anti-Apartheid struggle. In, Olwage, Grant (ed.) Composing Apartheid: Music for and against Apartheid. Johannesburg, ZA. Wits University Press. (doi:10.1080/03057070701292848).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

This article explores the ways in which music, together with cultural forms such as poetry, theatre and dance, was used to garner international support for the struggle against apartheid. It focuses on two of the African National Congress's most significant projects in this realm: Mayibuye, an agitprop group that achieved considerable success in Europe in the 1970s; and Amandla, which travelled widely as a party ambassador during the 1980s, offering large-scale performances incorporating music, theatre and dance. A central motivation for the article was documenting the work of these two ensembles, both of which made significant contributions to the development of cultural activity and yet remain virtually undocumented in the history of the movement and the struggle. The article's primary analytical interest is in how black South African popular culture came to play a role in the movement's work in exile, how it was recruited and re-packaged in order to appeal to foreign audiences, and the relationship between this and cultural activity that was more internally focused. The distinction between culture's role in external propaganda work as opposed to internally-focused nation-building - although not often clearly made in ANC discourse - helps to situate the contributions of these two groups within the larger context of culture and the struggle. Further, it helps to explain the difficulties faced by those trying to revive Amandla in post-apartheid South Africa, an initiative that ultimately has not come to fruition. In exploring how music was mobilised by the ANC in the international arena, the article seeks to understand the importance and distinctive value of propaganda-focused cultural activity to the movement, as well as its necessary and inevitable limitations.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 31 May 2008
Additional Information: Also published in Journal of Southern African Studies, 1465-3893, Volume 33, Issue 2, 2007, Pages 421 – 441
Organisations: History, Music

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 154113
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/154113
ISBN: 1868144569
PURE UUID: 37442dcf-1323-4d25-bde1-d35f44c5c656

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 May 2010 14:21
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:47

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×