There’s a new craze in China, invading markets and homes everywhere. It’s called “fruit mould” and involves shaping real fruit into mini Buddhas, hearts and squares. While the fruit is still young, the growers encase it into a custom plastic mould and let the fruit continue to grow. Then after a little time, the fruit is ready to come out of its shell to the world

thesis-schmesis is almost overrrrrrrr

This is the abstract of my (draft) thesis. If you would like to read the final product (obviously once submitted and graded), please feel free to email me.

Title 

EXPLORING THE POLITICAL COMMUNICATION DYNAMICS
IN SOUTH AFRICA’S PLATINUM INDUSTRY
The Case of Marikana

Abstract

This study of political communication starts from three premises. One is that the complex set of social, political and economic processes communicated via the news media that are strong to invite analysis of national development can be explored using qualitative analysis of mediated products. As skeins of connectivity, mediated political information structures social imaginaries within a nation, and thus contributes to development trajectories. The second is that within political communication processes there exists potential for a ‘Social Justice of Communication’, as theorized by Jurgen Habermas. Thirdly, the growing convergence between the previously separable areas of politics and communication demonstrates the urgent need to address not only conventional media effects such as framing or elite representation, but also the implications of nationwide social exclusion, particularly in the context of the public sphere. Thus, the remit of this thesis is the study of political communication dynamics and the roles and nature of mediated content within the process of national development.

This thesis studies media coverage of the Marikana massacre in 2012 and the wage strike led by the Association for Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) in 2014. Political communication in the context of the platinum industry, and how this relates to theories and practices of democracy in South Africa, is analysed using qualitative analysis of online news articles from four national newspapers: The Times Live; The Daily Maverick; The Mail & Guardian and; The Business Day. Key themes explored via the case studies include the use of framing in news coverage; the mediatisation of poverty and protest; the political economy of the media and resultant discursive spaces and representation of elite actors. Using protest event analysis as a prism for exploring political communication, this research investigates indicators of the status quo in South Africa’s democracy, as communicated via the news media.

In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being (or one of a trio of sisters of the same name) who appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman. Baba Yaga flies around in a mortar, wields a pestle, and dwells deep in the forest in a hut usually described as standing on chicken legs. Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter or seek her out. She sometimes plays a maternal role, and also has associations with forest wildlife. According to Vladimir Propp's folktale morphology, Baba Yaga commonly appears as either a donor or villain, or may be altogether ambiguous.
Andreas Johns identifies Baba Yaga as “one of the most memorable and distinctive figures in eastern European folklore,” and observes that she is “enigmatic” and often exhibits “striking ambiguity.” Johns summarizes Baba Yaga as a “a many-faceted figure, capable of inspiring researchers to see her as a Cloud, Moon, Death, Winter, Snake, Bird, Pelican or Earth Goddess, totemic matriarchal ancestress, female initiator, phallic mother, or archetypal image”.

In Slavic folkloreBaba Yaga is a supernatural being (or one of a trio of sisters of the same name) who appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman. Baba Yaga flies around in a mortar, wields a pestle, and dwells deep in the forest in a hut usually described as standing on chicken legs. Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter or seek her out. She sometimes plays a maternal role, and also has associations with forest wildlife. According to Vladimir Propp's folktale morphology, Baba Yaga commonly appears as either a donor or villain, or may be altogether ambiguous.

Andreas Johns identifies Baba Yaga as “one of the most memorable and distinctive figures in eastern European folklore,” and observes that she is “enigmatic” and often exhibits “striking ambiguity.” Johns summarizes Baba Yaga as a “a many-faceted figure, capable of inspiring researchers to see her as a Cloud, Moon, Death, Winter, Snake, Bird, Pelican or Earth Goddess, totemic matriarchal ancestress, female initiator, phallic mother, or archetypal image”.

My life in 4 words

v. To be moved in a heartwarming way, usually relating to a story that moved you to tears. (Italian)

n. Refers to someone who is a bit of a dreamer and literally means “air person.” (Yiddish)

n. On its own, “tår” means a cup of coffee and “patår” is the refill of said coffee. A “tretår” is therefore a second refill or a “threefill.” (Swedish)

n. Leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with other unread books. (Japanese)

(illustrations by Ella Frances Sanders)

The Mayan Astrology Signs are divided into 19 zodiac signs in an astrological system that was developed by ancient Mayans, based on their Gods. There is a lot of mystery surrounding Mayan astrology that persists to this day. What is known is that the Haab Calendar used 19 Mayan astrology signs to represent the movement of the days throughout the year. The Haab calendar is the only Mayan calendar that follows a standard (approximately) 365 day year. It is the one used for Mayan Zodiac astrology, and the one referenced below for each Maya Zodiac Symbol. The Haab has 18 months, each with 20 days, and a final 19th month that consists of 5 “nameless days” at the end.
Mine is Muwan, meaning: Owl, Moan Bird, God of Rain and Clouds, Fire. 
Those born in the Muwan sign have an affinity for fire and water. Embrace these two elements. Especially during thunderstorms when both fire and water are present in the forms of rain and lightning. Storms are power times for you. Your animal totem is the Owl, also known by Mayans as the moan bird. Owls have the ability of vision. They are seers who can detect the truth around them.
Check yours here

The Mayan Astrology Signs are divided into 19 zodiac signs in an astrological system that was developed by ancient Mayans, based on their Gods. There is a lot of mystery surrounding Mayan astrology that persists to this day. What is known is that the Haab Calendar used 19 Mayan astrology signs to represent the movement of the days throughout the year. The Haab calendar is the only Mayan calendar that follows a standard (approximately) 365 day year. It is the one used for Mayan Zodiac astrology, and the one referenced below for each Maya Zodiac Symbol. The Haab has 18 months, each with 20 days, and a final 19th month that consists of 5 “nameless days” at the end.

Mine is Muwan, meaning: Owl, Moan Bird, God of Rain and Clouds, Fire. 

Those born in the Muwan sign have an affinity for fire and water. Embrace these two elements. Especially during thunderstorms when both fire and water are present in the forms of rain and lightning. Storms are power times for you. Your animal totem is the Owl, also known by Mayans as the moan bird. Owls have the ability of vision. They are seers who can detect the truth around them.

Check yours here

André Breton on meeting Aimé Césaire

"I saw from the start, and everything confirmed it afterward, that he is a human cauldron heated to the boiling point..

It is a black man who handles the French language as no white man today is capable of handling it.

And it is a black man who is the one guiding us today into the unexplored, seeming to play as he goes, throwing ignition switches that lead us forward from spark to spark.

And it is a black man who, not only for blacks but for all humankind, expresses all the questions, all the anguish, all the hopes and all the ecstasy and who becomes more and more crucial as the supreme example of dignity.”

Gakutensoku (學天則, Japanese for “learning from the laws of nature”), the first robot to be built in Japan, was created in Osaka in 1928. The robot was designed and manufactured by biologist and botanist Makoto Nishimura (1883-1956).
Gakutensoku could change its facial expression via springs and gears in its head, puff its cheeks as if breathing, and move its head and hands and torso via an air pressure mechanism. It had a pen-shaped Signal arrow in its right hand and a lamp named Reikantō (霊感灯, Japanese for “inspiration light”) in its left hand. Perched on top of Gakutensoku was a bird-shaped robot named Kokukyōchō (告暁鳥, Japanese for “bird informing dawn”). When Kokukyōchō cried, Gakutensoku’s eyes closed and its expression became pensive. When the lamp shone, Gakutensoku started to write words with the pen. Interesting that the words were written in Chinese characters, not Japanese.
Gakutensoku was first exhibited in Kyoto as part of the formal celebration of the Showa Emperor’s ascension to the throne. The robot traveled to a number of expos and wowed onlookers with its mad calligraphy skills before going missing whilst touring in Germany  in the 1930s.
As novelist Hiroshi Aramata notes, Nishimura designed Gakutensoku as “an attempt to set aesthetic robots free from slaves to industry.” 

Gakutensoku (學天則, Japanese for “learning from the laws of nature”), the first robot to be built in Japan, was created in Osaka in 1928. The robot was designed and manufactured by biologist and botanist Makoto Nishimura (1883-1956).

Gakutensoku could change its facial expression via springs and gears in its head, puff its cheeks as if breathing, and move its head and hands and torso via an air pressure mechanism. It had a pen-shaped Signal arrow in its right hand and a lamp named Reikantō (霊感灯, Japanese for “inspiration light”) in its left hand. Perched on top of Gakutensoku was a bird-shaped robot named Kokukyōchō (告暁鳥, Japanese for “bird informing dawn”). When Kokukyōchō cried, Gakutensoku’s eyes closed and its expression became pensive. When the lamp shone, Gakutensoku started to write words with the pen. Interesting that the words were written in Chinese characters, not Japanese.

Gakutensoku was first exhibited in Kyoto as part of the formal celebration of the Showa Emperor’s ascension to the throne. The robot traveled to a number of expos and wowed onlookers with its mad calligraphy skills before going missing whilst touring in Germany  in the 1930s.

As novelist Hiroshi Aramata notes, Nishimura designed Gakutensoku as “an attempt to set aesthetic robots free from slaves to industry.” 

“In the writing state—the state of inspiration—the fictive dream springs up fully alive: the writer forgets the words he has written on the page and sees, instead, his characters moving around their rooms, hunting through cupboards, glancing irritably through their mail, setting mousetraps, loading pistols. The dream is as alive and compelling as one’s dreams at night, and when the writer writes down on paper what he has imagined, the words, however inadequate, do not distract his mind from the fictive dream but provide him with a fix on it, so that when the dream flags he can reread what he’s written and find the dream starting up again. This and nothing else is the desperately sought and tragically fragile writer’s process: in his imagination, he sees made-up people doing things—sees them clearly—and in the act of wondering what they will do next he sees what they will do next, and all this he writes down in the best, most accurate words he can find, understanding even as he writes that he may have to find better words later, and that a change in the words may mean a sharpening or deepening of the vision, the fictive dream or vision becoming more and more lucid, until reality, by comparison, seems cold, tedious, and dead.”

– John Gardner, “The Art of Fiction”