"A billboard for ‘The Zimbabwean Newspaper’ made entirely of worthless Zimbabwean bank notes. What more proof do you need of a country’s total economic collapse than being able to paste trillions and trillions and trillions of dollar notes onto a billboard and it is still cheaper than if you had used paper?”

By Carlos Martinez

Typical posturing coffee-shop-radical claptrap from Slavoj Zizek. How wonderful to be a well-paid, well-respected European critical theorist and have the luxury of saying that all oppressed peoples’ attempts to create a new world - be it in South Africa, Cuba, Zimbabwe, China, Korea, the former Soviet Union, etc - have been worse than useless. How great to be able to totally ignore all objective factors (little things like, errr, IMPERIALISM, the collapse of the USSR, total US geopolitical dominance of the early 1990s, the global rise of neoliberalism, massive droughts, etc) and focus entirely on the subjective factor, ie “how to move further from Mandela without becoming Mugabe”. 

He tells us that life is just as bad for black South Africans now as it was under apartheid. Clearly he is not one of those dogmatic people who measures quality of life in terms of food security, housing, or the availability of clean running water, electricity and educational opportunities - all of which are MUCH better now for South Africans (not to say they are perfect, they obviously aren’t). 

He says that “the rise of political and civil rights is counterbalanced by the growing insecurity, violence and crime”. This is a fundamentally racist point. Before 1994, whites had all the political and civil rights, and only blacks suffered from the extreme levels of insecurity, violence and crime. Now everybody has the political and civil rights, and whites have lost their automatic protection from violence and crime (well, it’s been a violent society ever since the whites turned up!). 

"If we merely abolish the market (inclusive of market exploitation) without replacing it with a proper form of the communist organisation of production and exchange, domination returns with a vengeance, and with it direct exploitation." Great. And while we’re at it, how about we build a lovely utopia up in the clouds where the sun is always shining, people dance salsa day and night, and a bowl of marshmallows constitutes a nutritious meal? Socialism is born from capitalism, and it inherits many defects. Overcoming these and moving towards a sane, equal, prosperous society is the work of many generations. Furthermore, socialism is unable to develop freely in the era of imperialism, hence the number one priority being to end (or at least marginalise) imperialism. Tellingly, there’s not a single mention of imperialism in Zizek’s article. 

And the parting shot: “We can safely surmise that, on account of his doubtless moral and political greatness, he was at the end of his life also a bitter old man, well aware how his very political triumph and his elevation into a universal hero was the mask of a bitter defeat. Mandela’s universal glory is also a sign that he really didn’t disturb the global order of power.” Yeah… because imperialism was totally happy for apartheid to die, yes? The ruling classes of Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the US were more than happy for African countries to get their liberation, and that’s why they organised endless ‘civil’ wars, interventions and campaigns of destabilisation? 

The fact is that there is *still* an international campaign of destabilisation against South Africa. SA’s main trading partner is China; it is the only African member of BRICS; it’s a significant military force; it has excellent state relations with Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Zambia (unlike in the apartheid days when it was occupying or waging war on those countries); it retains close ties with evil-communist-dictatorship Cuba. There are very few things the US and European ruling classes would like more than to see the ‘Democratic Alliance’ apartheid-nostalgia-brigade come to power in South Africa, and the barrage of ‘left’-sounding critiques of Mandela being printed in the mainstream press is in support of that aim. So the ‘strategy’ of this wonderful Marxist philosopher Zizek is to unite with the right against the not-quite-left-enough. Thanks but no thanks.

Don’t forget, Zizek was part of the counter-revolution in Yugoslavia. He actually participated in creating the world situation that Mandela, the ANC and all liberation movements have had to cope with since the destruction of the socialist bloc. - redguard

VOA: ICG: Mugabe Party Blocking Reforms

The International Crisis Group says it is unlikely Zimbabwe will hold elections by the constitutionally mandated deadline of June 2013. In a new report, the ICG says President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party is the main obstacle to timely and fair elections.

Zimbabwe analysts say the report correctly highlights the need for tougher mediation by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Piers Pigou, ICG’s Southern Africa Project Director, says ZANU-PF is blocking wide-ranging political reforms spelled out in the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA), which established Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government.

"A number of people inside ZANU-PF have said that they are not going to negotiate themselves out of power," he says. "If they construe any reform as weakening their hegemony, they are not going to support those kinds of processes, so there is little incentive to pursue a reform strategy which might weaken it."

The GPA outlines a series of reforms, including a new constitution, to be carried out by ZANU-PF, the former opposition MDC party and a smaller MDC faction. But Pigou says there has been no “significant” progress in implementing the agreement since March, when SADC’s Zimbabwe mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma, made a speech in Livingstone, Zambia. In that speech, Zuma, without naming names, blamed ZANU-PF for blocking reforms to achieve free and fair elections.

Pigou says when negotiators referred their points of contention to the principals - President Mugabe, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and small MDC president Welshman Ncube - the principals found solutions, which were then ignored on the ground.

“We get a sense that SADC is sitting on its hands in the post-Livingstone consensus,” says Pigou. “We don’t see them stepping up to the plate in terms of the violations that have continued in the post-Livingstone setting - the continued harassments, the arrests of cabinet ministers, the invasion of parliament, the  violence over the last couple of months. We don’t see an adequate, an expeditious response from SADC.”

In June, SADC officials agreed to send a three-man technical team to Harare to help the multi-party Joint Implementation and Monitoring Committee resolve a large number of political issues and day-to-day problems.

The SADC team has yet to arrive.

"At the moment, I am not expecting much from SADC until it gets its people on the ground in order to be able to inform itself, because at the moment it is completely reliant on the Zimbabwean parties themselves, who are continuing to present positions that are diametrically opposed in terms of analysis and substance," says Pigou.

He says all attempts at reforming the security sector, which is controlled by ZANU-PF, have failed.

Veteran Zimbabwe analyst Brian Raftopoulos says President Mugabe, who is 87 and in uncertain health, is hindering progress toward free and fair elections.

"I think the central problem around the GPA is the problem within ZANU-PF, the succession issue, which has been a major problem not just for ZANU but for the people of Zimbabwe, and the fact that ZANU cannot conceive of itself as a party which can lose power," says Raftopoulos. "The idea that ZANU thinks it owns the state is a key problem."

Raftopoulos says the SADC should do more to resolve outstanding GPA issues such as security reform and consider suspending Zimbabwe from the SADC if it fails to fulfill GPA obligations.

"We are seeing in [the Arab world], for example, the strong stand taken by the Arab League around the Syrian question," he says. "It is important for regional organizations to understand that they can play a positive role, that they can take strong measures like suspension, and that option needs to be made known if Mugabe and ZANU-PF continue to carry on [the] recalcitrant stand they are making. But one hopes it doesn’t get to that. [One hopes] there will be movement through negotiators and that lessons will [be] drawn from what is happening elsewhere on the continent."

Ibbo Mandaza is a former senior member of ZANU-PF and an academic who leads a political think tank in Harare. He says intellectuals are mapping out ideas to reform the GPA so the inclusive government could continue beyond 2013 in order to avoid ZANU-PF political violence.

"The violence has always been related to elections and we have been saying to [concerned] parties, ‘Stop talking about elections,’" he says. "If you put the election issue on the back burner, there won’t be violence or there will be less violence. Institutional mechanisms related to GPA will make violence increasingly impossible."

Zimbabwe’s last elections in 2008 were marred by numerous killings and beatings, most of them administered by ZANU-PF supporters against Mugabe’s opponents.


Recently Robert Mugabe President of Zimbabwe, declared that White people will not be allowed to own land in Zimbabwe. At one point Zimbabwe had nearly 300 white farmers on their land in 2011. President Mugabe gave a speech saying, “

“We will have no mercy for white people regarding the land, they cannot own our soil.” They will not be allowed to own land. No! They can own properties and factories according to our laws but not a piece of land.” “The permits we are launching here should be a clear message to those in Britain and the United States that whatever dreams they have of trying to sneak back through the back door will not work. We want it indicated in our laws that Zimbabwe has truly come back to its owners and the whites will never come back. ”

Post made by: @oba_tayo


Inspired by accounts that Zimbabwe’s despotic President, Robert Mugabe, sought treatment from a white psychiatrist, Breakfast With Mugabe is a suspenseful, suddenly violent play that highlights issues of our time.

When: December 29th 2013-March 2nd 2014 Where: The Lion Theater, 410 West 42nd street, Between 9th and 10th, Avenue, New York.


On Sunday January 26th, 8pm-12am Eastern Time we will be giving away a free ticket!

Please RT, Reblog and share !


Mugabe & the White African

I was skeptical at first, and then I saw this film.



film …

In search of Belgrade's sonic underbelly

First impressions of Belgrade from Avala train.

September’s melancholic mood with last few glimpses of sunshine offered a perfect backdrop to our first Balkan-bound journey in our project. It couldn’t have been more different to our preceding journey to the relatively clean-cut Poland where the music scene is dispersed into several cities from northern harbor town Gdansk to tourist-infested Krakow in the South, Serbia is more centralized with Belgrade and Novi Sad as the primary music and cultural hot-spots. What’s more, the Central European countries like Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland or even Romania don’t have to confront their fairly recent dark patch on their history as is the case with Serbia. The political and socio-economic context is tangible in every conversation we lead.

The war “monument”.

Belgrade is not a polished, shiny city like Prague, it still retains its rawness and Balkanic chaos. Theoretically, cities like these - as is/was the case with all your Berlins - are usually bustling with creativity and have a strong music scene. Somehow, this, admittedly cliched assumption, didn’t actualize with the Serbian capital. 

On the first night, after an arduous 12-hour-train journey (the route of 530 km), completely wrecked but utterly determined, we headed to the promo party of the  Dispatch Festival’s, the electronics festival which is set to commence as we speak. Funnily enough - and perhaps tellingly - most of the people we subsequently spoke to were present at this small party. We met Woo, one of the city’s successful musicians who under the auspices of Dispatch crisscrossed Northern America on a 30+ tour this year and frequently plays abroad.

Wo0 - When The Night Hits by Wo0

Aside from his more ambient-flaired solo act, he is also part of the improv collective Belgrade Noise whose short gig we get to experience on our final night at KC Grad, Belgrade’s leading alternative arts venue, where they played alongside UK dream boy Chad Valley. As for Belgrade Noise, we also met the outspoken and very likable Dusan Zica who is also active in two other projects - Shining Shitbox and Temple of Stone.


We meet Luka Ivanovic, aka Lukatoyboy - another clubber present at the party - on Belgrade’s castle ruins. On the backdrop of river Danube, we speak about his sounds and inadvertently end up reminiscing of the 90ties, Serbia’s dark times. For music and nightlife, however, the political and international isolation that the Milosevic regime dragged the country into, proved to be one of those times - perhaps like Weimar in the twenties Germany - when hedonism was an act of resistance, or simply a necessity how to survive the abnormal conditions (no school for six months, etc). Nowadays, the local music scene seems to be in a sort of limbo with the political situation relatively stable - albeit still messed up, as we’ve repeatedly heard with the economy proving to be the major problem now. There’s a persistent lack of funds and support/interest for non-mainstream musical endeavors. 

Another person in attendance at the Dispatch Night was the English transplant Toby, and former British Council music programmer, the proprietor of the bass-oriented imprint Svetlana Industries with an artist roster ranging from Serbian dubstep (Piece of Shhh.. through Slovenian glitch hop/techno Maya ‘8Bitch’ Medvesek. Interestingly, similarly to another British emigré whom we met in Romania, Eastern Europe despite its many drawbacks outshines their motherlands in the possibilities that it nurtures for their respective fields of interest - for Tom Wilson it’s journalism and for Toby label managing. Nevertheless, Toby and his associate Andrea remain fiercely internationalist and global and defer each of our questions about Serbia.  

Svetlana Selekta by Svetlana Industries

One of the most memorable encounters happened on a sunny morning in the vicinity of Belgrade’s National Theatre. We strolled in the labyrinthine streets in a leafy residential area to meet the Nigerian musician who works under the moniker K.O.F.Y. Ahman started as a crack dealer in his home town Lagos, Nigeria in the late seventies, but soon got involved in politics: for engaging in various activities against the rule of General Obasanjo, he had reportedly spent a total of seven years in prison, where he once allegedly shared a cell with the great Fela Kuti. During the eighties, Ahman fled Nigeria and moved first to Kingston, Jamaica and then to Miami, Florida, where he got his moniker K.O.F.Y, working as a doorman in a Latino gay bar,” reads the biog on his Myspace page. A former Nigerian crack dealer and con-man living and producing dub-tinged tunes about Mugabe who chose Eastern Europe as his current home, hm, we were surely intrigued, to say the least.

K.O.F.Y vs MKDSL - Berlin by KOFY

Belgrade’s noise and experimental label is Ne-Ton. The name, a pun on *TON labels active in socialists Yugoslavia (Yugoton, Diskoton, etc), also expresses the music it presents - un-tone, non-music. Having been created as a label to put out releases of Klopka za Pionira, a band that many hail as Serbia’s only noise-rock project, it also started to release other projects as well. Its founder, Damian Brkic, a guitarist in Klopka za Pionira, and a noise producer under the name Brkic, is starting another project - a fictive quartet called BELI4.

BELI4 - Waves by easterndaze