Title

"Preparing Ourselves for Ambiguity" Review of Albie Sachs, The Free Diary of Albie Sachs

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Scrutiny2: Issues in English Studies in Southern Africa

Volume

11

Issue

1

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Publication Date

2006

First Page

141

Last Page

143

DOI

10.1080/18125441.2006.9684450

Abstract

In 1990, in an article entitled "Preparing ourselves for freedom", Albie Sachs kicked off a national debate in the pages of what was then called the Weekly Mail by calling on his fellow ANC members to desist from "saying that culture is a weapon of struggle" (reprinted in Sachs 1990: 19). One reason he offered for this playfully controversial proposal was that, with a real weapon, "there is no room for ambiguity: a gun is a gun is a gun, and if it were full of contradictions, it would ... be useless for its purpose. But the power of art lies precisely in its capacity to expose contradictions and reveal hidden tensions" (20).