Wole Soyinka is a prominent Nigerian playwright, and in 1986, he became
the first African writer ever to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In
October 1965, Soyinka was arrested for allegedly seizing the Western Region
radio studios and using them to publicly dispute the published results of the
recent elections, but in December of the same year, he was acquitted. Didi
Cheeka of the Workers' Alternative Editorial Board looks at the ideas and
works of this well known writer.
In Part Two of his article, Didi Cheeka shows how Soyinka's works express
the struggle for " the liberation of the individual, for the individual, by
the individual and the removal of general liberation for the mass of the people".
It arises from the petit-bourgeois intellectual's conception of human nature in completely individualistic terms, divorced from
all social being. It is, nevertheless, a tribute to Soyinka that at the height
of the ethnic cleansing that presaged the Nigeria/Biafra civil war he was shrill
in his condemnation of the perpetrators. He paid for this with 27 months in
detention. Again he protested against the brutal repression of students in 1978.
But his individual and petit-bourgeois approach has now led him to have
illusions in the present party of government, the PDP.
Goran M, after interviewing the famous Black American hip hop band Public Enemy, wrote this analysis of their background, how they emerged as a band, how their lyrics evolved, and what they generally stand for. He puts everything within the context of the struggles of the Afro-American community for their rights. Public Enemy clearly expressed, and continue to express, a growing radical mood among blacks, but also among all the youth.
Someone has said that one of the criteria for winning the Turner Prize
is not to be understood. The philosophy behind this is: the less I am
understood, the better the art.Yet the kind of art that wins the Turner
competition also has merit. They have the merit of holding up a mirror to the
society that produced them, and saying: “This is what you are, and this is
all you are capable of producing.” These works point out to us that
beneath the sleek, comfortable bourgeois surface of modern society, horrors are
lurking: dead vermin, murder, death and decay.
On Sunday evening, September 12, thousands gathered in London’s
Trafalgar Square for the screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s revolutionary
film “Battleship Potemkin“ and to hear the Pet Shop Boys and the
Dresdner Sinfoniker string orchestra. The presentation was accompanied
by reminders of the many demos that have been through the square, with
quotes from Marx and Engels.
The Motorcycle Diaries, the recently released film on Ernesto Che
Guevara, is an exciting adaptation of Guevara’s writings of the same name.
Also based on Alberto Granado’s memoirs Travelling With Che Guevara,
Che’s travelling companion, the director Walter Salles was able to paint a
graphic picture of a revolutionary in the making.