The Dreams of a New Land by T.C. Christopher

As a collection of short stories, the Dreams of a New Land tells the tales of a multi-racial and multi-cultural South Africa, a land plagued with a dark and violent history. However, it also shows an African people searching for a new narrative beyond that of a post-Apartheid country – one to guide them through the trials of crime and corruption plaguing the once Rainbow Nation.

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I attended the Decolonising South African Editing event at the University of the Witwatersrand (2 August 2017). Wits has and always will be the most politically charged university on the African continent. So while the event was a success, and the many technical aspects of the event addressed with strong expertise, the content of the debate was controversial and explosive. I thank BlackBird Books and Jacana Media for an entertaining evening that was both insightful for many and frustrating for a few. Unfortunately, I am one of the few. What follows is my opinion of the debate itself, of which the content was outside the control of both the organisers and the host, being that it was a public debate. And as always with public debates in South Africa, things go wild.

This piece was written in conversation to a friend, who is also a writer, and it is entirely my opinion as a young South African writer, and with all the implications that label carries. These are not the opinions of BlackBird Books, Jacana Media, nor any of their representatives, nor are they opinions of any other attendee to the event.

CREDIT: Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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I am proud of and enamoured by Sisonke Msimang. Have a read of this excellent excerpt from her public lecture last week! It was mind-blowing, absolutely shattering, and confirms my belief in our people, how far South Africa has come, and how to figure where it must now go. The video will come in June!

UPDATE: The talk, Eyes on the back of our heads: Recovering a multi-cultural South Africa, can now be accessed here and here.

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Copyright by 0307 Films.

 

Storytelling has the privilege of entertaining those who embrace it. But good storytelling also has the ability to educate and enliven the passions of life within the audience, especially ones now lost in the quietly apathetic South African landscape. Even though it has been presented as an advert for VW, this is really a short film. And this short film is my favourite South African story. In the space of a minute and a quarter, an entire story has been expressed using truly South African themes that span across this country’s recent history. It inspired me to write a novel, and it has had a profound impact on my writing style. It is one of the stories that moved me profoundly as a kid, fumbling around with my misplaced words and confused ideas, trying to make sense of it all. And it is only after many years that I have been able to reflect back on it, and understand¬†just why it captured me.

Let’s find out how it shows great and artful South African storytelling.

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