The Forum, a workshops and seminars Initiative, screened Sarafina! an iconic South African film that centres on students involved in the Soweto Uprising of 1976. We showcased this film as a means of sparking debate around South African youths’ socio-political engagement during Apartheid, and especially how this relates to more recent protest movements such as RhodesMustFall and FeesMustFall.
After the screening, a sessions for feedback was opened for the audience to express their views and engender a discussion. Certain scenes were highlighted within the film by students and came up for debate. Students empathised with the plot and made various connections to the current decolonial discourse occurring at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The general consensus was that there were many similarities between the struggle depicted in Sarafina! and what the black youth experience today, but also differences.
There was rigorous debates around students’ methods of engagement through protesting, and whether and how protest action is the best way to address issues of social inequality in South Africa. Opinions varied, however, and it was an enriching engagement. It was suggested the film be screened again for a great audience and longer debates.