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Title:A positional gambit: Shaka Zulu and the conflict in South Africa
Author:Hamilton, C.A.ISNI
Book title:History from South Africa: alternative visions and practices / ed. by Joshua Brown ... [et al.]. - Philadelphia: Temple University Press
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Zulu polity
traditional rulers
About person:Shaka koning van Zoeloeland (ca1787-1828)ISNI
Abstract:'Shaka Zulu', the South African Broadcasting Corporation's television miniseries, premiered in South Africa in late 1986. Within a year it had been seen by a remarkable 100 million viewers in South Africa and abroad. Equally astonishing was the series' cost (24 million dollars). Hailed by some critics as a rare instance of African history from an African perspective, and slated by others as racist propaganda, the series remained in the public eye well beyond its screening times. In this article, the author examines the significance of 'Shaka Zulu' through reference to the series' production history and to its political setting. She situates the miniseries within the context of the contests over the production of history in South Africa in the 1980s. She analyses the series' script, explores its 'rich and awkward commotion of production', and assesses the multiple intentions of the producers and the possible ways of its reception, both in South Africa and abroad. This provides a lens through which to scrutinize the nature of hegemony and power in South Africa, and 'the contests which produce, reproduce and change historical knowledge'. Notes, ref. (p. 450-454).