Sites of Resistance: Writing as Protest in Black Anti-Apartheid South Africa



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This thesis explores the genre of protest literature that arose out of South Africa s black anti-apartheid movement during the 1980s. By examining three novels, Mongane Wally Serote s To Every Birth It s Blood (1981), Miriam Tlali s Amandla (1980), and Njabulo Ndebele s Fools and Other Stories (1983), as well as Oliver Schmitz and Thomas Mogotlane s film, Mapantsula (1988), I address the following questions: What was the function of protest literature in a society where the government controlled every aspect of daily life? How did protest literature encourage protesters while simultaneously smuggling itself through censor boards? Was protest literature merely agitprop, written as propaganda? Or was each individual work published because of its intrinsic literary value? How did the politics of the anti-apartheid movement hinder the production of nonpolitical fiction?



South Africa, apartheid, protest, Soweto, Tlali, Ndebele, Mapantsula, Serote, struggle, antiapartheid