One of my favourite moments in cinema comes from Paolo Sorrentino’s film The Great Beauty. The scene is a fashionable get-together on a summer evening, and as the guests gossip over aperitifs, we catch a woman uttering: “Everybody knows Ethiopian jazz is the only kind worth listening to.” The brilliance of this line is … Continue reading Consumerism or idealism? Making sense of authenticity
First published online by Apollo Magazine on 17 August 2017 Today we can’t help but see the Weimar Republic in terms of its tragic denouement: the rise of Hitler and all that followed. But for those living there, the present was already insecure, often brutal, and as the historian Eric Hobsbawm would later recall, ‘unbelievably … Continue reading Portraying A Nation: Germany 1919-33 (Review)
“Opinions,” Walter Benjamin wrote, “are to the gigantic apparatus of social life what oil is to machines. No one goes up to an engine and douses it in machine oil; one applies a little to the hidden spindles and joints one has to know.” Those defending free speech today may recoil from this advice. … Continue reading Does Free Speech Need Boundaries to Survive?
In the afternoon our house settles into a decadent air. My sisters’ children are asleep, there is the lingering smell of coffee, the corridors are in shade with leaves moving silently outside the windows. In my room light still pours in from the electric blue sky of the Eastern Cape. There is a view … Continue reading Invisible Lives: Ethics between Europe and Africa