A little adventure with a Nikon film camera

A little more than a decade after selling my last Nikon film camera (Nikon F5 – probably the best camera I have ever owned), I am about to “experiment” with film, once again. Going through some old boxes, I found an old Nikonos V I bought several years ago, but never used. I took it on a diving trip to the Caribbean, but realised, when we got there, that I did not pack the rubber seals and grease. The Nikonos went back into one of the chamois leather sleeves (which I hand-stitched myself) I used to have for keeping my bodies […]

Hirschman and Zappa: Shout-out to Business Day

I want to give a shout out to the sub-editors (and leader page editors) of Business Day for keeping a reference to Frank Zappa in a serious column on Economics and Public Policy-making that appeared in the paper this week. Sub-editors are probably the least appreciated professionals in the newspaper world. There are very few young, or even mid-career reporters who have anything nice to say about “subs” or “copy editors,” as they are referred to in North America. As I have grown older, however, I have come to appreciate them more. If only because they fix my mistakes.  Other […]

Democratic Alliance and Diversity (and Thomas Paine)

  20 April 2018. This morning I came across this brief video clip of an old friend, Harvey Kaye discussing Thomas Paine. Harvey is a Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. His interview, on Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, has some relevance to my reference to Thomas Paine in this week’s column in The Herald (Published on 17 April). The following is the reference to Thomas Paine in my column, and the interview with Harvey is below that. In its current incarnation, the DA represents something more similar to the smug liberalism of former leader Tony […]

Winnie Mandela is Dead: I Cried a Little, Today

  2 April 2018. You were like family. Sometimes more than that. I argued with you. You yelled at me. So many times. You slammed the phone on me. I slammed the phone on you. “Eish,” Bra Moffet, a photographer on Sowetan, told me after one tempestuous phone conversation with you, “You and Ma Winnie!” He shook his head and smiled. I was a journalist. I wanted answers. You could not give me the answers I wanted. I hated you. I loved you. There were times when we laughed. Other times we cried. You were stubborn. You were generous. You […]

Afrikaners and Global Rise of ethno-nationalism and notions of purity

13 March 2018 – A week ago, Business Day published a short article I wrote on the global rise in fascism, far-right politics, ethno-nationalism and the search for purity around the world. See the article on my page of work published elsewhere. Anyway, below is a scanned image of the story. After it was published I received a reply from Jared Taylor (for Taylor’s association with white supremacy see here and here) who was advised by an Afrikaner-nationalist and white supremacist in South Africa. I should make time for a more structured response. This is a link to Taylor’s response […]

Sherlock Holmes and Facts in Fiction

Neels Blom’s column, “On the Water”, published in Business Day, is always a treat – in a much different way from what his company was more than 25 years ago, when I last met him. As colleagues and friends, we went through the ups and downs of the states of emergency in the 1980s. We shared many laughs, tears and probably too much tannins from charred oak barrels… I do suspect, however, that we have drifted apart in terms of our ideas, beliefs and values. Nevertheless, since I believe that there should be no limitations on what should be discussed, […]

Starting Over

By Ismail Lagardien 3 March 2018. I have been wrestling with the idea of deleting my old blog posts of the past few years, and starting all over. Whenever I considered this there have always been two slight (big) problems, one philosophical (yes, I know…) and one historical. Let me pose them as questions. Have I changed my mind about what I wrote before the end of December 2017, when I “shut down” my website for “maintenance”? Is it necessary to keep an historical record of what I have written over the months and years? Whenever I think about these […]

They are everywhere, begging.

By Ismail Lagardien 15 February 2018. They are everywhere. Always there. On the beach. On the promenade. In the parking lot.They are there when you arrive. They stand around. Waiting. Hustling. One step forward. Two steps back. They circle around. They make sure not get too close. Well, not always. They’re quite gutsy. Persistent. Annoying. You sit on a bench. They are there, always. Waiting. One step forward. Two steps back. Another one arrives. They joist gently, but with purpose. The dominant ones often get their way. “I was here first. He is mine.” They are interested in your food. They will […]

The Hidden hands of Markus Jooste

13 December 2017. The analysis of pictures can be fun. Sometimes it can be a silly pass-time, sometimes not. The semiotics is the serious part. In theory the semiotics of images – the study of signs and signifying practices in a photograph – refers to any particular thing that is purposefully or unwittingly placed within a frame, and that refers to something else, or that conveys particular messages that were not initially intended by the photographer. There are several signifying practices which refers to how, as opposed to what, meaning is produced within a photograph. When viewing photographs, or any […]