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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Histories of becoming: 'Donkerland' re-members South Africa
Author:Milton, Viola Candice
Year:2014
Periodical:Communicatio: South African journal for communication theory and research (ISSN 1753-5379)
Volume:40
Issue:4
Pages:323-344
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:television
drama
identity
memory
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02500167.2014.975827
Abstract:This article discusses how the South African period drama, Donkerland, depicts South African history and explicates how memory is addressed in a society attempting to come to terms with a recent unsettling past. Donkerland narrates the story of six generations of one family against the backdrop of the changing socio political landscape of South Africa over a period of 158 years (1838-1996). The central thrust of the drama is the complex play of relationships between members of a family of settlers over several generations, as well as between the family and the black workers on their farm, Donkerland. Television period drama's ability to portray and investigate questions of power and politics on both a macro/social and micro/personal level, offers an ideal vantage point from which to explore the complex dynamics of reinventing national histories. An analysis of Donkerland thus allows us to explore how popular fiction can contribute to the imagination of identity and memory in postcolonial and post-apartheid South Africa. To this end, this article explores the role primetime television programmes - in particular, period dramas like Donkerland - play as acts of remembrance, focusing specifically on how they (re)inscribe the past to reflect on the present and shape the future. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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