Day before

Another cold morning, hushed brightness. The day before June 16,  echo of 1976, the year I arrived in South Africa. A privileged student, clueless. I was in exile without  understanding that exile would become permanent, in flight from war and family craziness. No going back, no way to know that then. And South Africa about to erupt but then the uprisings quelled, the long years of state repression and force, hidden resistance ahead..

Snow falling in  glittery hush. the roads silent and deserted.

Books all around, websites bookmarked,  articles waiting to be reread at leisure, if that ever happens. Foraging in amongst passages and  quotations saved up and  tossed aside.


Susan Howe: “love, a binding force, is both envy and emulation.”


Looking at satirical art, political protest art, art from the townships, art created in the Struggle. What will last in human memory or the collective tradition? The troubled questions of identity, forgetting, the estrangement.



Johann Louw


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