“Daniel Magaziner tells a profoundly human story of the institutional and social constraints under which African artists operated and the different ways in which they sought to find a way to produce beauty in the midst of oppression.”
Frederick Cooper, author of Africa in the World: Capitalism, Empire, Nation-State
“Ultimately, Magaziner reflects that approaching the history of complex and compromised communities like Ndaleni through the overarching nationalist frame of the South African liberation struggle does not allow enough space for difficult, nuanced, and fragile realities to surface.…Magaziner's carefully wrought study provides insights into the impetuses and negotiations, features and weaknesses, of a highly constrained, imbalanced, and charged setting.…The extended nature of the study does require a little stamina, but its achievement in being theoretically rich and sensitively argued more than sustains the reader. Its liberal incorporation of photographs (over a hundred), mostly of former students' artwork, not only vivifies the study, but is a valuable act of archival recuperation.”
Canadian Journal of History
“The Art of Life in South Africa is a richly suggestive and moving contribution to South African intellectual history. Weaving in a highly imaginative way the two concepts of life and art, Magaziner opens unique pathways for research in the historical sociology of the object-worlds South Africans invented, created and inhabited during the long twentieth-century. Written with extraordinary clarity and precision, this book will appeal to anyone curious about new trends in the historiography of culture.”
Achille Mbembe, author of Critique of Black Reason
“The Art of Life is an impressive work that is sure to become a basic text in the field of African cultural history. Ndaleni will no longer be forgotten.”
African Studies Review
From 1952 to 1981, South Africa’s apartheid government ran an art school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal. The Art of Life in South Africa is the story of the students, teachers, art, and politics that circulated through a small school, housed in a remote former mission station. It is the story of a community that made its way through the travails of white supremacist South Africa and demonstrates how the art students and teachers made together became the art of their lives.
Daniel Magaziner radically reframes apartheid-era South African history. Against the dominant narrative of apartheid oppression and black resistance, as well as recent scholarship that explores violence, criminality, and the hopeless entanglements of the apartheid state, this book focuses instead on a small group’s efforts to fashion more fulfilling lives for its members and their community through the ironic medium of the apartheid-era school.
There is no book like this in South African historiography. Lushly illustrated and poetically written, it gives us fully formed lives that offer remarkable insights into the now clichéd experience of black life under segregation and apartheid.
Daniel Magaziner teaches South African and nineteenth- and twentieth-century African history at Yale University. He is the author of The Law and the Prophets: Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968–1977. More info →
Save 20% ($27.96)
Save 20% ($79.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Together, the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and the Institut des Musées Nationaux du Zaire (IMNZ) in the Congo have defined and marketed Congolese art and culture. In Authentically African, Sarah Van Beurden traces the relationship between the possession, definition, and display of art and the construction of cultural authenticity and political legitimacy from the late colonial until the postcolonial era.
The Soweto uprising was a true turning point in South Africa’s history. Even to contemporaries, it seemed to mark the beginning of the end of apartheid. This compelling book examines both the underlying causes and the immediate factors that led to this watershed event. It looks at the crucial roles of Black Consciousness ideology and nascent school-based organizations in shaping the character and form of the revolt.
The helmet-shaped mapiko masks of Mozamxadbique have garnered admiration from African art scholars and collectors alike, due to their striking aesthetics and their grotesque allure. This book restores to mapiko its historic and artistic context, charting in detail the transformations of this masquerading tradition throughout the twentieth century.Based
The human rights movement in South Africa’s transition to a postapartheid democracy has been widely celebrated as a triumph for global human rights. It was a key aspect of the political transition, often referred to as a miracle, which brought majority rule and democracy to South Africa. The country’s new constitution, its Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the moral authority of Nelson Mandela stand as exemplary proof of this achievement.
Sign up to be notified when new African Studies titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.