Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I watched Amandla! ('Power!') (2002) last night for the first time, and I just thought I would quickly recommend it to readers of Histomat as a brilliant introduction to the history of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Subtitled 'A Revolution in Four Part Harmony' it is about how music was the lifeblood of the African liberation movement - but it also shows how the music evolved in step with the struggle as it developed. Basically, forget going and seeing racist films like 300 - watch this instead!

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At 4:34 pm, Blogger paddington said...

Being something of a film-dunce, I haven`t seen it. But township music from South Africa in the 70s and 80s is incredible - a real example of politics-as-the-lifeblood-of-music. The lyrics are notable for two reasons - (a) they do not, at first glance, appear especially political and (b) they do not even, at first glance, appear angry. But somehow the lack of in-yr-face ire and the composed calls for justice, education, equality, peace etc fire the songs with a dignity which makes their latent rage all the more powerful.

Plus, the music is the best you will ever hear - throbbing rhythms, glistening guitars, growling male singers (Mahlathini was nicknamed "The Growler"), and the most gorgeous female voices imaginable.

The absolute must-have CD is called "The Indestructible Beat of Soweto" but, given the difficulties African musicians had of getting their music released, the quality of African (and, for me, especially South African) music is very high.

Not wishing to labour the point, but if TIBoS is not the next CD you buy, you are a fool.

Yrs pompously etc

At 5:43 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Hey - good to hear from you comrade. I will check out TIBoS - cheers for that. How is it going? When are you back /are you coming back?


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