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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Eventless History at the End of Apartheid: The Making of the 1988 Dias Festival
Author:Witz, Leslie
Periodical:Kronos: Journal of Cape History
Geographic term:South Africa
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:In 1988, 500 years after Portuguese seafarer Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope, it was time to commemorate his arrival in South Africa by way of a festival. At that time, the National Party was still in power, but it was proclaiming that it was reforming apartheid. The emphasis of the Dias festival was on apartheid South Africa as being constituted by a 'rich diversity of cultures' that emanated from the contact and interaction 'between eastern, Western and African cultures in this part of the world'. However, finding groups that would represent indigeneity and be on hand to welcome Europe to Africa in 1988 with expressions of appreciation was easier said than done. The organizers of Dias 1988 found it immensely difficult to locate participants, contain tensions and contradictions and unearth appropriate history for a festival that asserted its multiculturalism within the bounds of (but attempting to be apart from) the apartheid State. This article tracks these processes of historical production as the Dias festival was made into eventless history. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]