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“Julian

Julian Richards is openDemocracy’s managing editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Breastfeeding is best for HIV-positive mothers too – but corporate interests and weak health systems hinder progress

As a paediatrician and health researcher in South Africa, I am acutely aware of the ongoing support that women need to breastfeed.

The state-sanctioned erasure of queer stories in Africa must end now

Movies depicting LGBTIQ experiences have been banned in Kenya and South Africa – adding fuel to the dangerous narrative that ‘homosexuality is unAfrican and harmful.’

Doing anti-surveillance activism differently

Recent campaigns waged in two Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries provide some interesting lessons about challenging excessive state security power. 

Mining and employment: community struggles in Tunisia and South Africa

Extractivism all-over the African continent is still appropriating and exploiting natural resources and destroying the environment and the livelihood of local communities.

Evangelicals in South Africa are 'broadcasting hate masked as morality'

Christian right groups are adding to an already dangerous environment for women and LGBTQI individuals, by pushing 'family values'  but not for everyone.

“Mum, I am into kink”: why it’s so hard to talk to parents about sex

Talking about cunnilingus with parents may sound like a type of medieval torture. But we pay for silence in lost pleasure – and health risks.

Activism and political organising in academia: a conversation with Ilan Pappe

Maybe resistance over Palestine in academe is part of a larger project: the creation of a fundamental change in the way we do knowledge, and in the way we produce knowledge. A conversation.

“It’s so taboo but we want it so damn bad”: introducing 50.50 columnists Tiffany Mugo and Claudia Torrisi

These 50.50 authors will delight and challenge us with monthly comment and analysis about sexuality in Africa, and reportage on intersecting forms of oppression in Italy.

Hyper-political anti-politics

Are we standing on the brink of a new kind of nihilistic governmentality, where politics is turned into perpetual theatre, disconnected from any kind of coherent government programming?

Apartheid references in Israel

The attempt to outlaw the use of the term "apartheid" in relation to Israel and its occupation has to be recognised as carrying dangers of effectively stifling debate on an issue of great importance

Mining in South Africa: radical resistance

The oppression and exploitation of mining communities means that even within our democracy, the legacy of the apartheid and colonial era mining regimes continues.

The battle for minds, and role of human behaviour in generating plutocracies

The control or influence of information is diffused through education, politics, culture, media and the process of socialization.

Community philanthropy is about invisibility

“You do not have to sit here waiting for someone to ask. You need to go out there and create the networks”, says Maria Amália Souza in Johannesburg. Interview. Português Español

La filantropía comunitaria trata de la invisibilidad

"No tienes que sentarte aquí esperando a que alguien te lo pida. Necesitas salir y crear las redes", dice Maria Amália Souza en Johannesburgo. Entrevista. Português English

Stay Woke: sustaining feminist organising in an uncertain world

Autonomous feminist spaces must be guarded jealously. They are an important lifeline for feminists to re-charge and breath in a world that remains hostile to women’s freedom. We must stay woke.

Oscar Pistorius: shooting to kill

Can a white man be morally absolved if it is decided that he meant to shoot an ‘imaginary black intruder’ rather than his girlfriend? Apartheid and patriarchy underpin Pistorius' trial. Part one. Part two. Part three.

A human economy approach to development

Money buys the machines that control people’s access to work. Humanity’s task is to reverse that order.

Britain’s Investigatory Powers Bill: a gift to securocrats everywhere

Given the real and present dangers, surely governments should use any and all means to protect their citizens? Right? Wrong.

COP21: forget 'the future', we need a more radical present

As COP21 meets, people around the world already realise the devastating impacts of climate change. Instead of acting for 'the future', we need to reimagine a better here and now.

South Africa: white fear, black anger and student protests

Student protests across South Africa have heralded a new generation of political activists. ‘Born free’ into democracy, they are frustrated at the slow pace of transformation in higher education.

South Africa’s twin rebellions: bifurcated protest

Although there were no city-centre protests of the kind seen in Cairo, in 2012, using protests per capita as a measure, South Africa was possibly the ‘protest capital of the world’.

Don’t let the spies grab your metadata

Secrecy may have a grubbier motive, forcing state agencies to keep information from the public to prevent a backlash against their usage.

Women and the xenophobia narrative in South Africa

Women who are victims of xenophobia are seen as betraying their ‘nation’ by not conforming to their roles: and South African women are complicit in this narrative.

It is 20 years since a great anti-death penalty judgement

Although the Mandela government was abolitionist, the attorney general of Witwatersrand pressed for the death penalty for two people. This, it turned out, did the world a favour. 

Speak Out on Poverty: impunity, inaudibility and structural violence

This set of little-known hearings after South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission took a wider appreciation of apartheid violence and the incredible tensions released in the new terrain of political transition. From States of Impunity.

G4S abuses in South African prison still ignored

Investigations and reports into allegations of widespread human-rights violations at G4S-run Mangaung prison have stalled. Can anyone wrangle the private security behemoth? 

BRICS from below: counterpower movements in Brazil, India and South Africa

While movements in Brazil and South Africa have been fueled by unrealized socio-economic expectations and by explosive growth in India, what they have most in common is the subordination of democracy to money.

South Africa’s new scapegoats

In the land that ended apartheid two decades ago, violence against other Africans has been on the rise. What has gone wrong and what is to be done?

After tyranny, how can we rebuild trust?

The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner demand police reform. Could South Africa provide a model for improving community-police relations in the US?

Defending the global knowledge commons

Members are encouraged to use creative commons licensing and to join others in a pledge to be open by agreeing to review for and publish in mainly if not solely open access journals.

South Africa’s parliament and the politicisation of the police

The police were a symbol of the old, apartheid South Africa. Unfortunately they are becoming a symbol of the ‘new South Africa’ too.

Oscar Pistorius: the South African story

The two versions of Oscar Pistorius presented by the state and the defence fit into a wider narrative of South African patriarchy, and not the other way around; solutions must therefore come from beyond the Pistorius trial.

After inspiring fossil fuel divestment, will South Africa's own campaign succeed?

South Africa’s carbon emissions rank among the worst in the world. So why is there debate about a fossil fuel divestment movement which may be close to a transformative victory?

Litigating for equality in South Africa: Muslim marriages

While South Africa’s legal provisions around equality are some of the best in the world, do they adequately protect women in Muslim marriages? Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker reflects on the case law and feminist legal activism.

No victory without struggle

With rampant corruption and widening inequality, South Africa has become the epicentre of global protest. Social transformation is increasingly sought outside the party-political field. But the political resilience of the ANC is nowhere near played out.

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