Gangs/ter/ism History & REPRESENTATION
Katharina Fink, MAUniversity of Bayreuth, Germanyfrl_fink@gmx.net
the Setting the Achievements the Network the Way the Future the City of Bayreuth and its University Bayreuth Berlin • University and festival city • 73.000 inhabitants, incl. 11.400 students the University • Founded in 1975 • Campus University • Strong interdisciplinary research priorities • 1045 registered PhD students including 89 in BIGSAS • Institute of African Studies
outline • Where we’re at: Week 1: Introduction • Topic of the course & programme • What is ‘history’? • What is ‘popular culture’? • Who/what is involved? • Lecture1: History & Representation. • Who & what are we talking about when we are talking about ‘gangs’? • What does ‘representation’ have to do with it? • TUT 2: Representation • Readings> On the blog • Visuals: ‘Jerusalema’ & Gangster-Rap
Week 2: • History, Heritage & • Oral History. Lecture 3: What is history, what is heritage? • What is ‘history’? • What are the differences • between ‘heritage’ and • ‘history’? • How can we analyse • ‘history-writing’? • What is the role of the • historian & the heritage • practicioner?
Literature: • Bundy, C (2007): “New nation, new history? Constructing the past in post-apartheid South Africa”. In: Stolten, H E (ed.), History Making and Present Day Politics: The meaning of collective memory in South Africa. Uppsala. • Lowenthal D (1998): ‘Fabricating heritage’, In: History and Memory 10, 1 (Spring 1998) • Baines G: The politics of public history in South Africa. Online at: http://sun025.sun.ac.za/portal/page/portal/Arts/Departemente1/geskiedenis/docs/baines_g.pdf • UNESCO: http://whc.unesco.org/en/conventiontext • Material from South Africa: http://www.nhc.org.za/, • http://www.archivalplatform.org/blog/entry/the_politics_of_memory/
Lecture 4: • Popular culture & history? Topics: • What is ‘popular culture’? • Which paradigmatic shifts have happened in historical studies / cultural studies? • Which different types of sources are there? • How can we understand them?
WEEK 3 Lecture 5 (21st): “Backdoors” to history: Gangs in Westbury> Stereotypes & their challenges Meeting with Shawn Constant & Local Studio
Lecture 6, 22nd : (Counter-)Images of Westbury Stereotypes & their challenges II With Michael Abrahams Photographer from Westbury
Week 4, Lecture 7 : Sophiatown – Close Up History. • Topics: • Gangs/ters in Sophiatown • Musealizingthe Past & the Present? • What do curators do?
Week 4, Lecture 8 musicsouth africa, Sophiatown, history & all that jazz • Film screening & discussion with Peter Makurube, • writer, film-maker & activist, Sophiatown
EXAM • 12.3. 2012 (mon) • Details follow asap on blog & EduLink, as well as in class.
ASSIGNMENT due in may: • Details in study guide, on blog & EduLink asap
Week 5 Lecture 9: Gangs/ter/ism & museums: Musealizingthe Past & the Present? • Themes: • How do museums work? • What is ‘curation’?
Week 5 Lecture 10: History in the museum. • Themes: • Case studies
Week 6, Lecture 11: Gangs/ter/ism & the archive • Themes: • How is knowledge about gangs stored? • What is an archive? • How to work with it? • Original material : DRUM & gangs.
Lecture 12: Archives II: Case Study
Last sessions: 20.3 & 21.3. • Wrap Up of our topics: • Gangs, representation, history • Timeline… • Discussion about seminar, themes, your work etc
OUR TIMELINE WE ARE HERE. 2012, UJ
WHAT IS ‘HISTORY’ – TO YOU’?
What is history – to you? • What is ‘history’? • How can we analyse ‘history-writing’? • What is the role of the historian & the heritage practitioner? • What is your role?
Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter – African Proverb Some said... “God alone knows the future, but only an historian can alter the past.” Ambrose Bierce “the young have fantasies about the future but the old have fantasies about the past”. David Hare from “Berlin/Wall”
ESHU, The TRICKSTER • Eshu is a trickster-god, in the Yoruba-belief- • system,and plays frequently tempting choices for the purpose of causing maturation. • He is a difficult teacher, but a good one.
ESHU, The TRICKSTER • “As an example, Eshu was walking down the road one day, wearing a hat that was red on one side and blue on the other. Sometime after he departed, the villagers who had seen him began arguing about whether the stranger's hat was blue or red. The villagers on one side of the road had only been capable of seeing the blue side, and the villagers on the other side had only been capable of seeing the red half. They nearly fought over the argument, until Eshu came back and cleared the mystery, teaching the villagers about how one's perspective can alter one's perception of reality, and can be easily fooled.” • (http://www.crystalinks.com/trickster.html)
Who’s involved in ‘writing’ history? • Historical Event • (Life) • Studying Historical Event • (Book)
Who’s involved in ‘writing’ history? • Event • Observer/First Hand • Researcher/Questions/Interest • Testimony/Interview… • Transcription • Analysis/Comparison with other data/studies… • Writing Down/Editing • Publisher/Editing • Students/Public
Different perspectives • Perspective I: Perspective II: X writing (in) ‘history’ X writing about ‘history’
Herstory • Worker’s stories • Everyday life • Black history • Queer histories • …..
Representation I • XXXXXXXXXXXXX • XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX • XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX • XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX • XXXXXXXXXXX X AS IN POLITICAL REPRESENTATION---- ‘VERTRETUNG’
Representation II • ‘Darstellen’ - as in language, media… XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX X
Who is involved? Who reads? Who writes? With which images/intentions? With which images/intentions? Who talks about it with whom? Who edits? Who buys? How is it read/ embedded/ …?
bell hooks: reel to real. race, sex, and class at the movies (1996) “Changing how we see images is clearly one way to change the world”
representation. • “WE keep coming back to the question of representation because identity is always about representation. People forget that when they wanted white women to get into the workforce because of the world war, what did they start doing? They started having a lot of commercials, a lot of movies, a lot of things that were redoing the female image, saying, “Hey, you can work for the war, but you can still be feminine.”
“So what we see is that the mass media, film, TV, all of these things, are powerful vehicles for maintaining the kinds of systems of domination we live under, imperialism, racism, sexism etc. Often there’s a denial of this and art is presented as politically neutral, as though it is not shaped by a reality of domination.”bell hooks, Reel To Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies representation.
WHAT IS A ‘GANG’? • “Agang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity.” WIKIPEDIA
British soldiers in Afghanistan, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/05/two-british-soldiers-killed-helmand
What is a gang? • “By definition, gangs involve multiple individuals (the exact number of individuals it takes to constitute a gang is a hotly debated topic), typically of a similar age and/or shared experience, who may or may not co-offend (again, an important area of dissention).” (Oxford Bibliographies; http://www.oxfordbibliographiesonline.com/view/document/obo-9780195396607/obo-9780195396607-0028.xml;jsessionid=C0834400EEB1983B3AD7E761E8B9A00B)
“Gangs are defined in many ways, and most definitions have similar components. One common definition of a gang is a group of three or more individuals who engage in criminal activity and identify themselves with a common name or sign.” • https://www.ncjrs.gov/spotlight/gangs/summary.html (National Criminal Reference Service, US)
“A Subculture of Violence • While the term "a culture of violence" denotes the broad acceptability of violence, there are differences in the extent to which certain groups endorse violence. Gangs are an example of a subculture in which violence is particularly pronounced, and this is connected to the composition of its members and their societal location. With regard to township gangs, both the youth and maleness of their members encourage the use of violence, as a result of the strong association between masculinity and violence.
“Secondly, given the marginalisation of the members, violence offers a quick and easy method to level the social playing field, to make an impression on an otherwise indifferent society, to gain social approval (from fellow members), and to obtain power and pleasure. “ • (both quotations from:
Collecting: Features of Gangs? • Group • Shared interest • Money and Power • Male • Symbols • Identity