This book is based on Adriaan Steyn’s master's thesis ‘A new laager for a new South Africa: Afrikaans film and the imagined boundaries of Afrikanerdom’, winner of the 2017 Africa Thesis Award. Because the Afrikaans language no longer receives preferential treatment from the state like it did under apartheid, many are today concerned about the language’s possible demise. However, at the same time, the Afrikaans culture industry seems to be flourishing in all its facets. Nowhere is this better illustrated than with the burgeoning Afrikaans film industry. After entering a period of hibernation at apartheid’s end, the Afrikaans film industry was revived in 2007 and subsequently entered a period of rapid expansion. This study is an attempt to make sense of this industry’s seemingly surprising recent success and also to consider some of its consequences. It shows how Afrikaans filmmakers, by tailoring their films to white Afrikaans-speakers, continue to affirm the imagined boundaries of Afrikanerdom and allow their audience to imagine themselves as members of the same collectivity or laager.

Year of publication: 2019
Series: African Studies Collection
Volume: 73



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Adriaan Steyn
African Studies Centre Leiden