Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
2 May 2015

Odidi against xenophobia and homophobia

This video aims to shock us into taking responsibility for Hate Crime; specifically anti-lesbian and xenophobic hate crimes. It features my friend Odidi Mfenyana, singing Billy Holiday’s siren protest song Strange Fruit. Although the song originally referred to the grotesque lynching of blacks in the United States, this version aims to prevent us becoming habituated and de-sensitized to the occurrence of violent hate crimes in South Africa. “Strange Fruit” is intended to cause a measure of discomfort and to call us to action.

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