Lizzie van Zyl, visited by Emily Hobhouse in a British concentration camp
Lizzie Van Zyl (1894 - 9 May 1901) was a child inmate of Bloemfontein concentration camp who died from typhoid fever during the Second Boer War. The British incarcerated her following the refusal of her father, a Boer combatant, to surrender.

Activist Emily Hobhouse used her death as an example of the hardships the Boer women and children faced in the British concentration camps during the war. She describes Lizzie as “a frail, weak little child in desperate need of good care”, who was placed on the lowest rations and, after a month, was moved to the new hospital about 50 kilometres away from the concentration camp, suffering from starvation. According to Hobhouse, she was treated harshly in the hospital. Unable to speak English, she was labelled an idiot by the English-speaking doctor and his nurses, who were unable to understand her. One day she started calling for her mother; a lady went over to comfort her, but “was brusquely interrupted by one of the nurses who told her not to interfere with the child as she was a nuisance.”

”Liberalism is the belief that society can safely be founded on this self-directing power of personality, that it is only on this foundation that a true community can be built, and that so established its foundations are so deep and so wide that there is no limit that we can place to the extent of the building. Liberty then becomes not so much a right of the individual as a necessity of society. It rests not on the claim of A to be let alone by B, but on the duty of B to treat A as a rational being. It is not right to let crime alone or to let error alone, but it is imperative to treat the criminal or the mistaken or the ignorant as beings capable of right and truth, and to lead them on instead of merely beating them down.”

- Leonard Hobhouse setting things straight!

Open Air Weekender West in partnership with Jihlava IDFF - The Floating Cinema, Paddington, 16th and 17th August

Open Air Weekender West in partnership with Jihlava IDFF – The Floating Cinema, Paddington, 16th and 17th August

Fantastic weekend linking film to food and back to film again, all with a Eastern European twist.

Photo by Jack Hobhouse

Within the documentary, Across the Borders, and Peter Kerekes’sketch on Slovakia, there is a line from a character, “right now I am sitting in a boat,” which makes us as the viewer disengage from the film for a brief millisecond to consider that we too are sitting on a boat,…

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