divendres, 21 d’octubre de 2011

Biko de Peter Gabriel, i la grandesa de Nelson Mandela

Ultimament he tingut més temps del que voldria a casa i he aprofitat per acabar uns llibres mig-llegits. He acabat El lladre de cervells, de Pere Estupinya - molt recomanable, un de assaig del Richard Feynman - molt recomanable, of course, i aquest ... Nelson Mandela, En les seves paraules. És una col·lecció de tots els seus discursos, barrejats amb assaijos sobre ell de diferents escriptors i personalitats d'una certa importancia. L'historia de Mandela és una historia molt important per la gent anglèsa de la meva generació ja que ens vam fer grans als 80 just quan la lluita anti-apartheid estava en el seu punt més fort. L'universitat era un continuo d'activitats (recordo bé el boicot al banc Barclays i el nostre rebuig a esportistes i artistes que anaven a actuar a Sud Africa, i els actes que feiem per recollir fons ...). Però despres de llegir aquest llibre, m'he quedat encara més impressionat que mai - sincerament crec que es una de les histories més importants del segle 20 per les lliçons que ens pot donar Mandela.


No us vull explicar tot, però en 4 ratlles .... els 40 anys de lluita, 30 al carcel, mai va perdre de vista la victoria i com s'hauria de gestionar el final del conflicte. Mentre altres verien que al final els "negres" han guanyat als "blancs", ell mai ho va vore aixi, sino que la gent guanyaria al sistema. Que tota la gent que havia recolsat aquest sistema racista durant mig segle, se'ls havia d'incorporar en el nou SurAfrica, un pais amb igualtat per a tothom. Ja podeu imaginar tot el que això implica i aquest mateix ideal va tenir clar quan va entrar al carcel al 1962, i quan va sortir a l'any 1990. I la reconstrucció i reconciliació del pais que va portar a terme mentre era president, ens deixa sense paraules quan ho compares amb altres "liders" mundials.


En fi, una cançò d'aquella època que ens va agradar molt va ser Biko del Peter Gabriel, sobre Steve Biko un altre heroi d'aquella lluita anti-apartheid que va morir torturat per la policia.

I us ajunto dos extractes de dos dels assaig del llibre.

.....

Spending more time than I'd like to at home at the moment, I've managed to finish off a few half-read books. One is Nelson Mandela - In His Own Words, a collection of his speeches and essays about him. Words fail me so I'll leave you with 2 extracts from these essays, and a song about another South African hero, Steve Biko.



Tyrants try to break people or, like petty gods, to re-make them in their own image. There was never much chance of Mandela being broken, but the danger, even in heroic defiance, is that it can make the world of the rebel as narrow as that of the oppressor, concentrate it so much on the struggle, not to be broken that it becomes hard, unmoving, knotted. The tough shell of resistance grows thicker with every insult it must withstand and the person acquires the diginity but also the coldness of a monument. Thus the tyrant creates a mirror-image of himself, hate matching hate, contempt reflecting contempt. Mandela's greatness is that he remained bigger than his captors, that his mind stayed large enough to imagine for them what they had not dared to imagine for themselves: that they might become better than they had been, that they too might attain the only dignity worth having, the dignity of common humanity.


(from an essay by journalist Fintan O'Toole in the book "Nelson Mandela -- in his own words")



(Regarding Mandela's emphasis on NOT diminishing or showing contempt for his adversary)
This approach is what saved South Africa from civil war (after Mandela's release). It is an approach that would serve Israel and Palestine well in their search for peace and justice today. It is an ethos of avoiding the accumulated bitterness that has scarred the Balkans and delayed the resolution of the troubles in N.Ireland. It is a powerful reminder of the folly of the US/UK-led war on Iraq, given the humiliation of the entire Muslim world. If in the conduct of war and struggle you humiliate your adversary, reconciliation and the achievement of democracy after the struggle is overly difficult, even impossible, and certainly delayed. Mandela's profound wisdom of anticipating, premeditating, future outcomes as a guide for how you conduct your struggles and political conduct is the most telling legacy he leaves us from his leadership.


(Wilmot James, essay in "Mandela - in his own words")


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