On the final leg of her literary journey, ISABELLA DOCKERY completes her trilogy, using African literature to explore the continent. Over the past few months, many students have felt at a loose end, having had their carefully made summer plans cancelled as a result of Covid-19. At the moment we are in the midst of a slow and cautious return to normality. With information about online classes and university policy now being released, students can begin to form routines, something which is clinically proven to improve mental health. As the new term approaches, I accepted that my free time was dwindling and resolved to travel, for the final time, through literature. For my last literary journey, I ventured into Africa, relishing the opportunity to immerse myself in the continent before deadlines and workloads begin to pile up. As I have never visited the continent, I selected some of its most…Continue Reading

Travelling through Literature 3/3 – Africa

ALICE DEVOY reviews Oliver Hermanus’s film set on the frontiers of South African Apartheid. ‘You aren’t people any more. You are scabs: flaky, yellow, pus-filled scabs.’ And with these words we are baptised along with 18-year-old Nick Van de Swart (Kai Luke Brummer) into the South African Military. Set in 1981 during compulsory conscription and the border war between South Africa and Angola, Oscar Hamanus’s Moffie (2019) adds to the established South African genre of grensliteratuur, or, ‘Border Literature’; the film is a triumph that teeters on the edges of borders, exploring the constructed margins that shore up identity.  What with this year’s The Lighthouse and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, the sea seems to have an irresistible pull currently for films exploring the theme of identity. Is this a result of the general mellowing of our contours, our search for something more malleable to define ourselves through? With…Continue Reading