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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Bram Fischer and the question of identity
Author:Clingman, Stephen
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:African identity
biographies (form)
About person:Abraham Louis Fischer (1908-1975)ISNI
Abstract:In January 1965, Bram Fischer disappeared from his trial in Johannesburg on charges under the Suppression of Communism Act, beginning a period for him of ten months underground and in disguise. This essay takes this starting point to consider key questions of identity for Fischer, for South Africa and for a wider world. Fischer was groomed for leadership within an eminent Afrikaner nationalist family, yet came to identify himself with the majority of South Africa's people, helping to forge a new version of what South African identity could mean. Through the life of Bram Fischer, the essay explores three interrelated issues: identity, the national and place. What kind of self does a concept of the nation embed? What kind of nationality might the self project? How are both of these linked to a sense of place or belonging, both for the self and for others? And how, and to what extent, are shifts in these three areas achieved? The essay's fundamental assumption is that identity (the inner) and the social (the outer) are intrinsically connected. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]