Remember the Fallen Heroes: The Normalization of War on a U.S. University Campus

Today, I attended the 16th annual War Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony at San Diego State University in sunny Southern California. The memorial site was constructed originally in 1996 in order to remember the alumnies who lost their lives in World War II, the Korea and the Vietnam Wars. In the wake of the Afganistan/Iraq War the site . . . → Read More: Remember the Fallen Heroes: The Normalization of War on a U.S. University Campus

Mythic Poison: A Man Fears his Wife

‘The stress is gonna kill me,’ Lukaya points out and refers to his high blood pressure. He sits on a toolbox in a shed made out of corrugated iron shining bright like silver. I feel sorry about him. More than three years ago he welcomed me into his house ‘like a son’. He did not want . . . → Read More: Mythic Poison: A Man Fears his Wife

How to Bully a War ‘Veteran’?

‘Steek hom!’ Roland suddenly yells. Jimmy, a man in his 40ies, quivers as if he was hit by a lightning. ‘Aaahh, fuck!’ he swears and bows down quickly while burying his head in his arms. Then he comes up again. ‘Mommy!’ one of the young men adds sarcastically in a shrill tone. The others . . . → Read More: How to Bully a War ‘Veteran’?

Tik, Tik, Tik: Methamphetamine Rage in Cape Town’s Suburbs

‘I will kill you,’ somebody yells outside. I’m sitting on a chair and look through the open door into the stairway hall on what seemed to be a peaceful morning. Juan gets up hastily and runs out to see what’s going on. Then a young woman runs up the stairs and hides on the first floor. . . . → Read More: Tik, Tik, Tik: Methamphetamine Rage in Cape Town’s Suburbs

Contested Spaces: Whose the Boss of Paradise Park?

A man in his 50ies passes on the street below the veranda in a public housing complex somewhere in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs. His stature is sturdy and he wears a full mustache. ‘This guy thinks he is something like the boss of this place,’ the 22-year old Juan asserts. The man was one of the . . . → Read More: Contested Spaces: Whose the Boss of Paradise Park?

Afrikaner Martial Arts: The Poesklap

Tonight, Koos tells me stories about his father’s commitment to protect him from harm inflicted by other people. The father, he remarks briefly, considered himself the only one entitled to discipline him. The first incident, he says, took place in a bar. When he wanted to meet his pa on the way to school he found . . . → Read More: Afrikaner Martial Arts: The Poesklap

‘I’m so cross that I smack her’: Domestic Violence from the Perspective of a Perpetrator

For the first time the soft-spoken man reveals that the marriage, he so far presented as the corner stone of his life, lies actually in ruins. The matraze on which I was sitting last time is gone. “On Thursday she came home and was mad at me. I don’t know but I think it was because . . . → Read More: ‘I’m so cross that I smack her’: Domestic Violence from the Perspective of a Perpetrator

Mandela’s Birthday: Where have the leaders gone?

Robert is a long-standing political activist and teacher in Mitchells Plain. He wants to introduce me to his ANC comrades, particularly an old friend who used to be a minister in the South African government for many years. I have seen him on TV before. Today, he looks different. The senior man wears a white-washed Mandela . . . → Read More: Mandela’s Birthday: Where have the leaders gone?

Tik Bail Out: A Risky Endeavor

Since my last visit David moved into another hokkie, this is how wooden sheds are called in the Cape Flats. It is located in a backyard behind a narrow gate. The place seems to be secured like a fortress. A dog is barking and must be locked in first. The landlady living in the main house . . . → Read More: Tik Bail Out: A Risky Endeavor

How to become racist?

The young man asserts that in the past under Apartheid life in South Africa was more “peaceful” and “healthier.” The rise of murder, robbery, and rape that the country has seen in the last decade he takes as a proof of the failure of democracy. “Look how many blacks are in jail… If you look at . . . → Read More: How to become racist?