The 60th anniversary of the August 9 1956 Women’s March on the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest against the extension of passes to women by the apartheid regime will be celebrated throughout South Africa this year. Many women-focused cultural and political events are being planned to mark the contribution of South African women to our struggle for liberation.
This call for essays is but one decisive way to bring the considered voices of men into the mix.
Motivation: Ten years ago Beulah Thumbadoo & Associates put together a book, the face of the spirit, illuminating a century of essays by South African women for the Department of Arts and Culture, SA. To mark the 60th anniversary we would like to hear from men; any and as many South African men as are willing to take part.
Theme: The struggles of men with women
So what should you write about? Anything you believe will make a difference; that will add to our understanding of you. What do you find easy to celebrate? What do you find difficult to express? What keeps you motivated or joyful? What frustrates you? What is weighing on your heart or mind right now? Do you have something you’d like to say to your grandmother, mother, a former wife, a current partner, a sister, an aunt, your daughter, or a former teacher? Write to the women in your life and tell them whatever you think might help us all to understand each other better and curtail the polarity between us. You might need to dig deep and go further than you manage to through the spoken word. But that is the wonder of writing.
The essays that best portray the personal concerns, hopes and desires of South African men – and have the judges wanting every South African to read them in the interests of nation building – will be shortlisted, and our intention is that a selection of the best essays will be published in a book with the working title Words left unspoken.
Pledge: In the spirit of active citizenry and self-reliance, we are launching this call for essays without any funding or organizational support. Depending on the response, it is our intention to secure a sponsor to award outstanding essays and support their publishing and distribution.
Credential: Beulah Thumbadoo & Associates was responsible for a short story competition that spanned 18 years, so your writing will be in safe hands. Please google the BTA/Anglo Platinum short story competition to track how an adult literacy project became the most lucrative writing competition on the African continent.
Please visit our website for more background on our work to promote literacy, reading and writing. www.beulahthumbadoo.co.za
Submissions of no more than 2 000 words should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org before or by 1st July 2016.