Welcome to the August edition of the Khanya Journal which debates and discusses Khanya College’s 12th Annual Winter School, which took place from 28 July to 8 August 2011 in Johannesburg.
This Journal edition reflects the contribution of different constituents of the College, its staff, Winter School participants and members of one of its projects, the Forum for Activist Journalists. This edition is therefore dedicated to all the activists who made Winter School 2011 a success, the participants, the organisations, the volunteers, the writers, the home-based care workers, and the local families who provided accommodation for the School’s delegates. On behalf of Khanya College we thank you all for your comradely solidarity. We also include here some of the comments from School’s participants. We will make every endeavor to integrate these comments into future Winter Schools.
The first part of this edition is about the Winter School. In this part, the first article explains the overview theme and programme of the Winter School. The theme of the School, ‘From Crisis to Resistance’, is reprinted here, based on Khanya College’s invitation to organisations to participate.
This is followed by a summary of the programme – the skills workshops and the networks for resistance that took place. In the 2011 Winter School Khanya organised nine (9) Skills Workshops and fourteen (14) Networks for Resistance (see the programme included).
In 2010, a total of 338 activists attended the School’s closed events, and they represented 148 organisations. In 2011, a total of 359 participants (200 women and 159 men) representing a total of 190 organisations attended the School. An analysis of this group shows that women were the majority, consistent with their overall membership of the social movements. The School’s participants were drawn from both the membership and the leadership of organisations.
Elĳah Kodisang’s article discusses an overview of the Winter School and Bongani Bunyonyo assesses the School, in particular the skills workshops and the networks as ‘A Platform for Debate’. Maria van Driel in her article discusses some of the challenges that came with organising the Winter School in the current socio-economic and political climate.
The second part of this edition is about the different events that make up the Winter School. The first event of the Winter School 2011 was the Khanya Journal Conference on Radical Political Economy: Environment, Resistance and COP 17, from 28-29 July. This was a conference for activists in preparation for COP 17 which will take place in Durban, later this year. We reprint here the first edition of Imbila Yesu, the Winter School newspaper that covers the Conference and the papers that were delivered. The Conference papers will form the last edition of the Khanya Journal for 2011. In the first article, Anele Mdzikwa provides an overview of the Conference. This is followed by Cleopatra Shezi’s discussion of climate change in Africa. Yandisa Majodina reports on the discussion on Production and Consumption in the light of the environment and world hunger. Nkume Christian then looks at South Africa’s role in the international climate crisis. Christian reflects on COP 15, 16 and the future. Another important debate at the Conference, and the last article included, was on Environment and Gender, a report by Ongeziwe Gusha.
The second event of the School focuses on the Skills for Resistance Workshops, 1-2 August. In her article, The banner will talk for you: Dannelton Mudengezi’s story, Cleopatra Shezi discusses banner-making. Bongani Bunyonyo discusses writing skills in the light of movement building and encourages activists to write their communities’ stories. Daphine Mlambo discusses documentary photography as a tool for social change. Pitso Mompe reports on the Theatre and Education skills workshop and Anele Mdzikwa wraps up the Skills for Resistance Workshops.
The third event of the School was Khanya’s NGO/CBO Fair. In her article Portia Mosia provides a brief outline of the Fair and the different activities that took place. This is followed by Nduvho Ramulongo’s account of the Opening of the 3rd NGO Fair, particularly well-attended by inner city schools. Bongani Maponyane reports on the special programme organised for students of the inner city using theatre and focusing on the environment. Marcia Moyana reports on the successful women’s activity in her article, Women Speak Out! The NGO Fair also focused on children’s rights, and Mathapelo Skosana briefly interviews Karabo Ngidi of the Centre for Child Law, a participant at the NGO Fair.
The fourth event of the School was the Networks for Resistance, on 4-5 August. For the first time a faith-based network was held at the Winter School. In his Letter from a participant, Father Edwin from Kairos Southern Africa reflects on the network, and calls for the strengthening of partnerships in action. This is followed by Pitso Mompe’s report on the anti-xenophobia network and the need to organise and integrate foreign nationals into community organisations. Marcia Moyane then reports on the Marginalised Women’s Network and their attempts to recruit more women and build a movement. In her article, A safe space for lesbians, Mathapelo Skosana reports on the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, one of the Winter School’s participating organisations. This section ends with the Participants’ Comments on the Winter School 2011 and a Photo essay of Winter School 2011.
The last event of the School was the Jozi Book Fair, 6, 7 and 8th August. In her overview article on the 3rd Jozi Book Fair, Anele Mdzikwa reports on the aims of the Fair, the Guest of the Book Fair and some of the interesting activities and debates that occurred.
In the Open Mic section, Grace Chawezi Hara, a participant at the Winter School, gives an account of the popular demonstrations that took place in Malawi around issues of poor governance, economic injustice and human rights violations.
In the Documents section, Oupa Lehulere, outlines Khanya College’s democratic process towards the ALL COLLEGE CONFERENCE in 2012 which will review the College’s work for the past ten years and chart out perspectives for the forthcoming period. We urge all activists and movements to contribute to these debates as we seek ways to strengthen, mobilise and rebuild the social justice movement. The progress on the preparation for the Conference will be posted on a special page of the Khanya College website –www.khanyacollege.org.za.