Centre for Civil Society and Centre for Creative Arts Seminar: Kebbleism, Politics and Art

Presenter :    Allan Kolski Horwitz
Date          :    Friday 19 October 2012
Venue       :    CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College
Time         :     12:30-14:00

The story of Brett Kebble’s life seen in Allan Horwitz’s 2012 play Comrade Babble, is the story of South Africa’s failed liberation, in which inequality, corruption and conspicuous consumption actually increased after apartheid. How artists deal with crony capitalism, in which they themselves can be implicated (for many took Kebble’s patronage), is one of the lessons of Horwitz’s politicisation of the arts. At a time of elite disquiet over cartoon and artist representations of ruling-party leadership, in which paranoia is a hard currency only slightly devalued by long-standing racial divisions of labour, Horwitz bravely treads on sensitive toes with this drama as well as his poetry and prose. Can civil society keep up with the challenges he poses? 
Horwitz’s two new books, to be launched at the CCA’s Poetry Africa festival, are Two Birds at My Window and Meditations of a Non-White. He was born in Vryburg in 1952 and grew up in Cape Town where he studied political philosophy and literature. Between 1974 and 1985 he lived in the Middle East , Europe and North America, returning to South Africa in 1986 when he worked in the trade unions as an organizer and educator. He currently works for a social housing association and Member-controlled provident fund in Johannesburg, and was a founder member of the Botsotso Jesters and Botsotso Publishing.

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