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   Better Lives

   There's something I must tell you

 

Six conversations between veteran women activists in the struggle against apartheid, and their ‘granddaughters’. The free ranging discussions cover past histories and life in South Africa today.

 

There's something I must tell you, 2013
Six screen rear projection video

Installation view

Amina and Luiza Cachalia

Amina and Luiza Cachalia

Veteran activist Amina Cachalia died unexpectedly, shortly before final filming of her conversation with her granddaughter Luiza Cachalia was to take place. In this conversation, Luiza looks back at a preliminary interview with Amina, and reflects on Amina’s views on Luiza turning blonde, why Amina did not go into exile, and what she fought for under apartheid.

Caroline Motsoaledi and Busisiwe Kha

Caroline Motsoaledi and Busisiwe Kha

Caroline Motsoaledi recalls her life as the wife of a Robben Island prisoner, left alone to bring up her children before being jailed herself. She complains that the younger generation care only about ‘the football club’. Busi agrees that her generation is label conscious, but defends her friends.

Vesta Smith and Tammy Leigh Lodge

Vesta Smith and Tammy Leigh Lodge

Tammy Leigh Lodge hopes to find out why her great grandmother, Vesta Smith was jailed twice, and learns that Vesta didn’t ever know herself. Tammy Leigh says for her apartheid is just something she’s read about in books – ‘only a textbook version’.

Rebecca and Mpumelelo Kotane

Rebecca and Mpumelelo Kotane

Rebecca Kotane is the widow of exiled ANC leader, Moses Kotane. She says it was very sad when he left, but tells us why she accepted it. Granddaughter Mpumelelo describes what the legacy of Rebecca’s generation has meant to her as a young black African woman of today.

Ilse Fischer and Thandi Lewin

Ilse Fischer and Thandi Lewin

Ilse Fischer talks about her eventful teenage years as the daughter of Nelson Mandela’s trial lawyer, Braam Fischer, and gives her opinion about how Johannesburg is today. Thandi Lewin celebrates the fact that the South African constitution allows her to be married to a woman and for their children to have full legal rights.

Brigalia and Busiswa Bam

Brigalia and Busiswa Bam

Distinguished parliamentarian, Brigalia Bam recalls her youth when ‘before you go out even to buy a pint of milk or a newspaper you must carry your pass’. Busi says racism still exists in the workplace and describes an incident in her workplace. In conclusion, Brigalia reflects on why one sometimes has to forget.

Click on the images below to watch the videos.