EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
LAUNCH OF DOCUMENTARY SERIES
Connie Field, a renowned producer/director from Berkeley, California
will be launching a documentary series and a 12 hour DVD both of
which are intended for educational use. This documentary series
represents a pioneering attempt to put together the story of the
Ms. Field has worked on numerous dramatic
and documentary films such as "One Flew over the Cuckoo’s
Nest" , as well as independently producing her own work. Her
most recent feature documentary, "Freedom
on my Mind " , a history of the civil rights movement in Mississippi,
was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize
at the Sundance film Festival. She is also the recipient of the
John Grierson Award, as most outstanding social documentarian and
the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. The University of KwaZulu-Natal
is proud to be associated with the launch of her documentary series
in South Africa.
The launch episode to be screened during the
conference is entitled "The Other Side of the Rubicon".
It focuses on the role of the international civil society in confronting
corporations whose investments sustained the apartheid regime. Companies
justified their reasons for investment, pointing out that they could
be a force from within. But the ANC called for total withdrawal
and stepped up its campaign to make South Africa ungovernable. Foreign
companies pulled out in a massive exodus that crippled the economy.
It was the first coordinated campaign to use economic pressure to
bring down the government. Its success moved South Africa one step
closer to a negotiated settlement.
There will also be a side bar along with the
conference for those who would like to view and comment on additional
episodes such as that entitled "Apartheid and the Club of the
West". This episode tells the fascinating story of the anti-apartheid
movement in the USA.
In partnership with Michigan State University and the Centre for
Popular Memory at the University of Cape Town, we will attempt to
collect oral testimonies of those who have been involved in the
international movement against apartheid, during the period of attendance
at the conference. The preservation of the nation’s collective
memory is really the sum of many, many individual memories that
are in danger of vanishing with the generations that created them.
We hope that by taking advantage of the remarkable and unique opportunity
afforded by this conference, we can add a priceless, authentic oral
resource to the existing national resources and to the world’s
stock of knowledge about the historic events surrounding our freedom
These interviews will be shared with institutions
interested in generating research on this area of our struggle.
The project is supported by generous assistance from Michigan State
University, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of
Cape Town. It is intended as a supplement to, and not a replacement
for, oral histories collected by other worthy and important collecting
efforts underway in South Africa.
We urge participants who have been involved
in anti-apartheid activity to participate in this important project.
Professor Francis Njubi Nesbitt from California
will be launching his book entitled , Race for Sanctions: African
Americans against Apartheid, 1946-199 (Indiana University Press).
This book is a political history of the first
successful example of transnational mobilization against the forces
of corporate globalization in the USA. It shows how a determined
minority can transform the foreign policy of a major superpower.
The first part examines the role of anti-colonial organizations
like the Council on African Affairs to the role of Civil Rights
leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. The second part looks at
the impact of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights reforms that led
to the election of African American legislators, thus providing
the anti-apartheid movement with access to policymakers for the
The book focuses on the major organizations
that led the movements like Transafrica, the Free South Africa Movement
and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Professor Nesbitt is an Assistant Professor
of Africana Studies at San Diego State University.