The Media Listens, and it Sees.

Behind the Luister film

Luister Cover

Dan Corder, Markus Hegewisch, Declan Manca and Eric Mulder are the four young white men who collaborated with “Open Stellenbosch‘, to expose the institutional racism and societal prejudice within Stellenbosch University. 32 students were interviewed and the testimonies shared of their lived experiences of racism, discrimination, exclusion and violence that continue at Stellenbosch University after 21 years of democracy.

What is interesting is that the interviewees are first point out the obvious controversy in that they fall under ‘white privilege’. However, they are at the forefront of exposing racism and promoting transformation for those of underprivileged classification. In a recent interview with News24, Dan Corder was faced with this exact question and explored the notion of appropriateness and how their whiteness may compromise the films validity. Corder made it clear that no one else was willing or proactive enough to embark on making such a film. They felt that society’s prejudices were unjust and wanted to use their privilege and socially normative race to help make people aware.

‘Open Stellenbosch’ has been criticised for not fulfilling their structure as a forum and social platform designed for voicing concerns. In response to the film, Stellenbosch University released this statement saying; “The Management of Stellenbosch University has thoroughly taken note of the Luister video that was distributed via social media.” – Prof Wim de Villiers. The response then goes on to defend the accusations made against the management and they make their case as to what steps the University is taking to combat the culture of racism, such as; created a bursary fund for descendants of forcibly removed inhabitants of Die Vlakte and announced the establishment of a Transformation Office and Transformation Committee.

Many say the statement was predictable and defensive; it would seem saving their corporate image is more important than actually addressing the issues that were being presented. Their response seems less proactive and more reactionary. In the above-mentioned interview with Dan Corder, he goes on to say that the film was meant to gain the attention from the management and wider demographic and draw focus to the ignored issues of racial conflict and prejudice. The university chose to reciprocate with a damage-control-type response that neither accepts the accusations nor actively disagrees with the movement, as to not cause any more conflict. Essentially, it would seem that they just wanted the issue to go away with passive acknowledgment.

Elsenburg Agricultural Institute Protest Controvsery

After the film was released, a violent scuffle broke out at Elsenburg Agricultural Institute near Stellenbosch during which the BAagri students were attacked with sjamboks. Social media users speculated one of the Luister interviewees was involved. A screenshot had also been posted on Twitter by Eikestadnuus, which allegedly showed a member of Open Stellenbosch waving a sjambok at an Elsenburg student. The Open Stellenbosch member was the opening interviewee in Luister.

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Ijeoma Opara, speaking on behalf of Open Stellenbosch, confirmed that the male student was indeed a member of the movement. It was, however, confirmed by both the university and the committee that Elsenberg was a Western Cape government institution and thus the university could not intervene. Following the release of the confirmation, there was no further comment on why the interviewee was involved and the full matter behind the protest.

What this means for the credibility of the Luister film and its’ reputation

Owing to Elsenburg not being associated with Stellebosch University, and the young interviewee involved was acting in a politic group capacity and not as a representative of ‘Open Stellenbosch’ it would seem the film still holds its’ credibility. However, the young interviewee’s association with the Luister film wounds one of the themes of protest against violence. Overall, I think the controversy demonstrates the unrest and anger felt amongst students, both white and black.

Twitter

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News24 Meets with the four young men who produced Lusiter.

Link 5.

In a recent interview with News24, Dan Corder was faced with the question of the producers race and explored the notion of appropriateness and how their whiteness may compromise the films validity. Corder made it clear that no one was willing or proactive enough to embark on making such a film. Open Stellenbosch has been criticized for not fulfilling their structure as a forum and social platform designed for voicing concerns.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swF5jqVwfjY

Awolnation back with new album, Run.

Music Review.

Run is the second studio album by American electronic rock band Awolnation, released on March 17, 2015 through Red Bull Records. The album was announced on January 25, 2015 along with a music video of their new song “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)“. As said in Billboard, a well known and respected music enterprise,  “L.A.’s Awolnation broke out with their 2011 hit “Sail,” a dark and stormy electro-rock power ballad on which singer Aaron Bruno succeeded in sliding the phrase “blame it on my ADD” into the pop consciousness.” An accurate description of their first major hit, however it is still unclear if the enthusiasm and trend setting influence can be continued through their new album. Listen to the album here

Below is the dramatic album cover art, the short action word “Run” chosen as the title is eloquently conveyed through the power of the stampeding horses through the white of the water. Album covers are an essential choice that could help further their trend.

AWOLNATION-Run-Album-Cover-Artwork

As mentioned above, the song “Hollow Moon”‘s music video debut along with the album itself. The music video showcases a variety of emotions felt in the song, a physical representation of the song is one way for Bruno to extend his music and his entertainment intentions even further.

Exclusive: Watch AWOLNATION’s ‘Windows’ Video, Plus 2015 Tour Dates Revealed

Awolnation can said to be now officially just Aaron Bruno. It was Bruno that put together and single-handedly crafted Run. Bruno has still retained a core group of musicians whom add their own individual signature to the sound. However, the album has a core rotation around Bruno, the intimacy seems appropriate as It is a soundtrack expressing his life story. The album as a whole can be a rollercoaster ride of tempo’s and altering entertainment intentions. The songs can vary from hardcore rock almost boarding metal, like the song, “Dreamers” to the juxtaposed slow-burn guitar contemporary rock in, “Headrest for my Soul”. It could definitely be said that there are clear breaks for singles. Songs such as, “Hollow Moon” have been pushed along side the debut of the album, the music video was shortly released and well choreographed. “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” skips between the singsong line of easy listening and a legitimate rock track. “Fat Face” and “Jailbreak” return to the emotive in the type of, as put by Billboard, “sugar rush comedown you’d expect from a singer whose signature line just happens to be “blame it on my ADD.”

Stellenbosch’s PPC on Higher Education comments on Elsenburg outrage.

Week 4 Link.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on Tuesday echoed statements made by Stellenbosch University that agricultural school Elsenburg was not within the tertiary institution’s jurisdiction. Therefore no correctional action can be taken, at least that is what is expressed by Stellenbosch University.

http://beta.iol.co.za/news/politics/elsenburg-racism-row-heats-up-1909033

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‘Luister’ crew addresses interviewee sjambok claims

Week 3 Link.

03 September, 12:01 PM (News24 Offices)

New24 are joined in studio by the creators of Luister. Markus Hegewisch, Declan Manca, Erik Mulder and Dan Corder explain why they made the film. After the film was released, a violent scuffle broke out at Elsenburg Agricultural Institute near Stellenbosch during which students were attacked with sjamboks. Social media users speculated one of the Luister interviewees was involved.

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http://www.news24.com/Live/SouthAfrica/News/Luister-crew-addresses-allegations-interviewee-was-involved-in-sjambok-incident-20150903

Footage found of EFF members engaging in violent protest with Elsenburg students.

Week 2 Link.

I have chosen this video because it is the footage that substantiates my investigation into whether the Luister interviewee was seen engaging in a violent protest. This is important because he was a voice to those who have been subjected to institutional racism, more pertinently he speaks of violence and his objection to such acts.

https://theklique.us/2015/09/01/breaking-footage-of-eff-members-attack-on-elsenburg-students-at-stellenbosch-university/#

‘Luister’ video could lead to change!

Week 1 Link.

I Have chosen this link as one of my many sources because it gives a detailed synopsis of the film as well as the change it has incurred. It is always interesting to see a demonstration piece such as this film, but very rarely is there an article that explains what happens after, the end result per se.

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-09-01-stellenbosch-luister-could-lead-to-change/

Luister Cover

An apple in the Prime Ministers mouth after allegations of sexual acts carried out with a dead pig. #Hameron

Roundup Article, Originally published on Storify, click here.

A recent story to come out into the media, is the allegations surrounding the United Kingdoms’ Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his participation in an initiation during his years at Oxford University, which involved putting his penis in a dead pigs mouth.

http://bcove.me/we5aodc6

Subsequent to the release of the former Conservative Party Treasurer, Sir Ashcrafts biography, there has been a media outcry at the allegations mentioned in the book. From drugs to indulging in a sexual initiation involving a dead pig. Many have been shocked by the absurdness and promiscuity of his actions during his time at Oxford University, the hashtag #Hameron and #PigGate have gone viral, putting the Prime Minister and his Public Relations team under duress to comment. As a result, it would seem that Cameron is not denying the actions described in the Ashcroft biography.

It would seem that owing to his acceptance of the allegations and the ridiculousness of the act, that the United Kingdom has actually found humour in the whole debacle. I am sure that this will soon fade and the animal activists will step in to accuse the PM of sadistic animal abuse; it would seem that this is the natural next step in public response to sex and animals used in one accusation.

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To reiterate the comedic relief in Political news, many memes and funny photo-shopped pictures are surfacing over the Internet. Most remain witty and relatively conservation considering the sexual nature of the act.

The below tweet was striking to me, because of its reference to the “Je Suis Charlie” campaign that went viral, in response to the mass shooting at the weekly satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine. To clarify the use of the word “Peppa”, in Europe there is a popular kids program called Peppa Pig. Personally I find this meme per se, somewhat distasteful considering the humour found in the act, whereas the seriousness surrounding the Charlie Hebdo shootings. This is an example of media having no control of the censorship of the content uploaded to the Internet.

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A very interesting aspect to the story has been the stories that divulge what the most appropriate PR management should be in response to such an allegation. The media has allowed the public views and thoughts on the event; however there has not been a press conference or anything similar by the David Cameron PR team. As a growing journalist, it is crucial to read up on articles such as the two mentioned below, to see what is expected of PR and how to handle the media.

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Online Media Evaluation

I am fortunate enough to have access to the Internet through my iPhone, as well as my laptop. Having my iPhone makes it extremely convenient to being constantly updated in terms of Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and Sky News; those four sites are the main sites in which I operate within. As a wannabe journalist I like to make sure I am in the know, whether it is following a local current student movement, such as the BSM group, or an international news story that is being covered on the big news programs. The above activities I do in my spare time however, another aspect of my Internet activity is for my academics. For all of my subjects I will at some point need to access published journals, and use google to keep up with readings and research certain topics. There is also a major site set up by Rhodes for scholars called RUConnected, it is used to access lecture slides, upload assignments and find helpful notes. Facebook also features a lot in my academic life, as I mentioned above there are groups set up that correspond with our subjects and peers are able to ask each other questions in a fairly informal forum, rather than emailing our tutor or lecturer for every minor query. Furthermore, Whatsapp can also be useful in this sense. An example of this instance could be seen in our upcoming JMS1 essay hand in, we needed to collaborate with at least five other tutorial members and exchange work. One person from each tutorial group took initiative and created a Whatsapp group with everyone from their tutorial, this is a great way to share email addresses to send and receive tutorial work. This encourages team work, and helps everyone get to know their fellow tutorial peers. Lastly, I am an avid music lover and will always have youtube open and playing the latest album by some of my favourite bands and singers. I’ve also been someone who enjoys listening to songs while working, it becomes a white noise and allows me to open my creative mind and keep focused.

Pitch Letter

Candice Le Kay Editor of Journalism and Media Studies 1

I intend to write about the recent hostility surrounding Stellenbosch University and its’ alleged problem with racism. There have been many riots and demonstrations to draw the University and international attention to its obvious discrimination. More pertinently, I will be exploring the recent release of the short film, “Luister”, which was put together by a group of students at Stellenbosch, to showcase real accounts of students having experienced racism in/at Stellenbosch. In parallel to my investigation into the film, I will be looking at the controversy surround a later video, which filmed a violent riot between a black student movement and an unclear opposition. However, what is shocking is the film catches a man’s face holding a stick, which he is using to whip other people. It turns out that the face may belong to one of the racially suffering interviewees from the “Luister” film. I will be exploring the legitimacy of this claim and what it could mean for the BSM. Working title – “The Media Listens, and It Sees.”

To carry out this article I will be interviewing Rhodes students from various ethnic groups, two students from Stellenbosch University itself and Rod Amner. I will be interviewing Rod Amner in the hopes to get a journalistic opinion on the film in terms of the media and investigative elements. I will be breaking my article up into three halves. The first half will be an investigation into the “Luister” film itself and what was involved in the making, secondly I will be commenting on the controversy surrounding the footage of the student riot and lastly an overview as to what the controversy means for the BSM and the credibility of the film.

I have previously written for Archetype, an online magazine. The article was a travel piece, but the project gave me the opportunity to learn how to compose an article intended for the Internet. For your own interest, you can read the article here: http://archetypeonlinemagazine.com/2015/04/03/my-manly-the-other-side-of-sydney/

The article would take three weeks to research, write and polish. I will be able to email a final draft to you by 8 October 2015.

I am keen to engage with you on the specifics of the article and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

ASHLEIGH REDMAN 071‐9909109 ashleigh.redman@gmail.com