If being a citizen in a democracy entails more than just voting every five years then how active and engaged are South Africans as citizens? What real say do they have in the shaping of their democracy? And what role does the media play in enabling them (and especially those previously disenfranchised) to be active partners in deepening democracy? The Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies research project into citizenship and media (funded by the Mellon Foundation) hosts a series of talks and panel discussions in which these questions are opened up and debated.
The idea of “Being and Belonging” goes to the heart of citizenship, especially in this time of inequality, crisis, injustice, anger and authoritarianism. I want to discuss why I view the world as my homeland, South Africa my home. Discordant voices and dreams build and rebuild our imaginary homeland and homes. Citizenship is the critical voice used against oppression and injustice locally and globally. “Being” is my daily personal and political struggle to be ethical, while engaging in the right to pursue happiness and freedom. “Belonging” for me is the construction of a community in South Africa and everywhere that transcends identities, even as individuals confront inequalities such as race, class, gender, nationality, religion and language. Being and belonging are also indispensable to my understanding of friendship and equality. I want to discuss how knowledge of ourselves and our societies allow us to use the concepts “being and belonging” to rebuild our world/s. Zackie Achmat is most widely known as founder and a chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and for his work on the behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Achmat has since been instrumental in founding the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) and Equal Education and as a member of Open Shuhada Street, he works directly with Palestinians and Israelis resisting the Occupation through grassroots and non-violent methods. Achmat received the inaugural Desmond Tutu Leadership Award in 2001, the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in 2003, and the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights in 2003. In 2004, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Duration : 60 minutes
Full Price : R 25.00
- Wed 4 July 2012, 17:30 @