Arts and censorship in South Africa 1948-2000
Allard, Raymond H.
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This dissertation is concerned with the effects of censorship on the arts community during the apartheid era in South Africa, and in the post apartheid era that followed. Through interviews and various sources, a picture will be presented that examines the contrasts and similarities of the two eras. Chapter One will present an overview of South African history, from its beginnings in 1653 to the first popular election in 1994. It will show how the religious beliefs and accompanying attitudes of the in-coming colonialists created a social atmosphere in which the system of apartheid was able to flourish and grow. It will also show how apartheid ultimately crumbled under pressure from growing resistance and violence among the people it sought to control. Chapter Two is comprised primarily of the results of several interviews with selected artists, showing how the various individuals thought about censorship, how they dealt with all the restrictive laws, and how they were able to pursue their art making under these conditions. Personal experiences illuminate the effects of such censorship, and opinions about the value and necessity of censorship are summarized. Various of the interviewees talk specifically about what actions they took under the apartheid regime, and how they viewed, and continue to view, the role of the artist in society. Chapter Three uses several case studies to illustrate what is currently happening concerning censorship and art in the post-apartheid era. Opinions and reactions to current conditions will be presented, and specific instances of censorship or attempted censorship will offer a comparison with the previous era. This will illustrate how much liberty artists today enjoy in South Africa. Several significant issues are raised by such examples; Issues of potency and importance to any culture. Finally, the artists themselves look ahead, and provide a picture of the future for arts in this society .