That poor family. In March 2009 Natasha, daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn’s sister, died after a freak ski accident. Last month, Lynn’s brother Corin died at 70. And then on Sunday evening, Lynn died after a 7-year battle with breast cancer. Her three children were at her bed-side.
The Guardian reports that in a statement, her children said:
“Our beloved mother Lynn Rachel passed away peacefully after a seven-year journey with breast cancer. She lived, loved and worked harder than ever before. The endless memories she created as a mother, grandmother, writer, actor and friend will sustain us for the rest of our lives.”
Feeling a little low? The weather, Juju politics, and a sick child or two taking its toll on your mood?
Here is an easy way to lift it: watch A Country Imagined - a new series, produced by Curios Pictures and broadcast by SABC 2.
Last night, after a weekend of wiping little noses, no sleep and administering doses of Calpol, I watched the second programme of A Country Imagined, a 13 one-hour series, and after a few minutes I was reminded, and overwhelmed, by the beauty, richness and wonder of the country we live in. Johny Clegg narrates and presents the show, something he does extremely well. His knowledge of South African music, culture and local languages makes him a sympathetic and authoritative presenter.
The show takes the viewer on a journey through South Africa and “explores the landscapes that have inspired artists, writers, musicians and dancers for centuries”. The script is rich with fine art, music, and historical references as it takes us through the “densely layered” country of ours.
Last night, Clegg took us through the Eastern Cape where he told us about the wars fought there, the devastating prophecy of the teenaged Nongqawuse, and took us past the birthplaces of Nelson Mandela and Enoch Sontonga. We met the artists of the Keiskamma Arts Project. Throughout the show we were treated to beautiful landscapes and a script rich with references and an understanding of the complexities of our country.
Watch the next shows on Sundays at 21:00 on SABC 2. A good ending to a weekend, and a wonderful way to start a new week.
Here are the summaries for the next shows: Read More…
I AM knitting my son a jersey, hopefully in time for this fast oncoming winter. I’ve been knitting it for 17 months. I intended for him to wear it last winter, which came and went as I knitted and then gave up.
My son chose the wool. It’s a bright navy blue, the colour of a Clover milk bottle top. It’s quite awful and time hasn’t helped me soften towards its garishness. It’s cheap too. I am not knitting with a soft, comforting, pure wool. Never mind my preference for neutral tones and pure fabrics. I’ve had to set that aside for my son’s personal but undeveloped taste.
With the chill in the air, I’ve picked up my knitting needles again to continue where I left off and now I can’t stop. My son, cuddling up to me on Saturday evening watched as I knitted one, purled one, knitted one, purled one, and said: “I love it, mum.”
I am determined to finish the damn jersey, if only to make my boy happy, and have been going through what my husband says is an obsessive knitting phase.
I’ve done quite well. I’ve got a back, a front which is longer than the back and I’m halfway through one sleeve. With another sleeve and some putting together to go, I should have it done in six months time. No, no, that will have to be six weeks, otherwise I’ll miss another winter.
What has happened in the meantime, not only some extra cuddling, is that I seem to have inspired some keen knitters. The children of friends have been fascinated by the casting on and off of stitches, the clicking of knitting needles and the magical growth of a knitted piece.
I can blame my slow progress on having to give lessons while I’m knitting — which I don’t mind one bit. As birthday presents, I’ve been giving away knitting needles and balls of coloured wool. Last weekend, I had two new students, boys, who according to their mother, “are still knitting away”.
(Jackson Hlungwane, Hand of God, 1989. Wood. 88.5 x 55 cm. )
(Gerard Bhengu, A Goal, 1926. Pencil and watercolour on paper. 21.3 x 33.2 cm.)
(William Kentridge, Bicycle Kick, 2009. Official FIFA art poster. 100 x 70 cm.)
These marvellous pictures of soccer-related artworks were in my inbox today. I am not sure where you can see them, or if they are on exhibit. I will find out tomorrow hopefully, and let you know.
Just found the information further down my inbox from the Standard Bank Gallery:
This (football) flagship exhibition, will showcase a range of artworks that respond to the global phenomenon of soccer and the passion it evokes. The exhibition, which runs from 1 June to 17 July 2010, focuses on the African continent, with a significant South African component and, of course, the enthusiastic support for the South African national team is featured prominently. Read More…
On page 24 of today’s The Times, Art South Africa and Gun Free South Africa have paid for a full page to publish their open letter to President Zuma. They ask for him to “stop singing Umshini Wami (‘Bring Me My Machinegun’) and sing Umshini Wakho (‘Bring Us Your Machineguns’) instead”.
Here is the letter:
Dear Mr President
DEAR PRESIDENT ZUMA,
PLEASE CONSIDER THIS REQUEST FROM YOUR PEOPLE:
OUR EXCITEMENT AS A COUNTRY IS SHARED AS WE WAIT TO WELCOME THE WORLD TO SOUTH AFRICA FOR THE FIFA WORLD CUP. WE’RE REBUILDING ROADS, CREATING NEW TRANSPORT SYSTEMS, ERECTING HOTELS AND REORGANIZING OUR CITIES TO GIVE OUR GUESTS THE VERY BEST OUR LAND HAS TO OFFER. WITH YOU, WE WANT THIS TO BE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL WORLD CUP EVER HOSTED.
But the high rate of violent crime continues to cast a shadow over these happy preparations.
Aggravated by the shocking number of guns on the streets of South Africa, violence is a daily threat to each of us and to the people we love.
So, to match all our other efforts in readying our beautiful nation, we plead for equal energy to be poured into preventing crime-related tragedies. By initiating positive action, we can start purging the streets of guns before the first plane lands.
And what better way than for our Head of State to lead by example?
Mr President, one of the things you’re famous for is your use of the old struggle song Umshini Wami. We’d like nothing more than to hear you sing that famous refrain again… but this time, for a different cause and with slightly different lyrics. We’d like to ask you to please stop singing Umshini Wami (‘Bring Me My Machinegun’) and sing Umshini Wakho (‘Bring Us Your Machineguns’) instead.
That small change would transform a call-to-arms into an anthem of community safety, responsibility and peacemaking.
The message of peace and hope this would spread not only across our own country, but to the world, would be immeasurable. By singing Umshini Wakho (‘Bring Us Your Machine Guns’ ) you can guide us into this new era and set the example by urging citizens to hand in their guns to the South African Police Service.
By approaching crime and violence in a determined and positive manner, and by ridding our society of guns, we can make a significant advance in creating a safer South Africa.
The People of South Africa
Those writers of ours who were going to the London Book Fair missed the fair, and are still her. On Monday evening they held an event in Cape Town, where they read out messages at the “packed function” on : “Not the London Book Fair”, at the Book Lounge.
Here are two of the messages, but go to http://www.youtube.com/user/LondonbookfairSA#p/u for all the messages: Read More…
Human Rights Watch with Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas produced this multimedia piece which has been nominated for a prestigious Webby award. This piece tells the story of an Indian woman, Kiran Yadav, who died in childbirth last year. She had delivered her third child, a boy, before she began to hemorrhage, and then bled to death.
To help Human Rights Watch win the award, go to http://www.hrw.org/en/video/2009/10/06/silence-maternal-mortality-india to cast a vote. They could become the “people’s choice” through voting.
It annoys me that while Malema has been let off the hook, and while our country’s leaders backtrack and contradict each other, people are living in these “homes”. Shouldn’t really be calling them homes should I? One resident told the British tabloid The Sun that “It’s like living in a concentration camp – and we’ve been dumped here because of the World Cup.”
The ANC has dropped all disciplinary charges against Malema “following a sudden change of heart by President Jacob Zuma”, says The Times.
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