Madness of the Society and Madness of the Writer: Wopko Jensma and the Politics of Apartheid
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Madness of the Society and Madness of the Writer: Wopko Jensma and the Politics of Apartheid
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Maria Kurbak 
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

This article focuses on the biography and works of South-African poet, writer and artist Wopko Jensma. He was often referred to as “the first South-African”, implying that he, like no other, was able to merge his own culture — that of Afrikaaners — with mythology, music and languages of black and coloured population of the SAR. His works had been exhibited in the USA and Europe and had been forbidden in his homeland as the consequence of his criticism of Apartheid. Jensma, like no other South-African poet, exploited the theme of loneliness, alienation and restlessness. He was not able to close his eyes on the crimes committed by his nation and unable to demonstrate ignorance towards the suppressed groups of people. This feeling of frustration had been growing and, combined with anxiety and helplessness, at the end brought him to schizophrenia. This article concentrates on the analysis of the challenging creative track pursued by Jensma against the background of historical events of Apartheid period. It demonstrates the way how aggressive politics of the State leads to the development of “sick” society, increasing aggression, disintegration, emergence of “double-thinking”, a maddening feeling of being involved in crime. It clearly gives birth to the trauma, which is extremely difficult to overcome, even for the entire generation — and sometimes even impossible to overcome.

the SAR, apartheid, historical transformation, culture and authority
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