What is the future of the Commonwealth and the Games?
Pre-print. Paper presented at the research seminar on “Cultural Encounters in English-Speaking Societies”, 1 March 2022, Institute of Education (INSPE), University of Reunion Island.
Below follows an open letter from Business, Local Community and City leaders regarding to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee 2022 regarding the issues of perceived institutionalised racism and representational parity.
Competitors can take the knee at Birmingham Games ‘We need solutions that don’t build walls but bridges’
The impact of the Black Lives Matter movement continues to rumble through sport.
It has forced clubs, leagues and competitions to have reckonings with their identity. Such discussions have already prompted change, with the Washington-based National Football League team recently retiring their controversial “Redskins” name and logo.
It was US satirist John Oliver who once mocked the Commonwealth Games as an “off Broadway” Olympic Games. A legacy of our colonial past, the Commonwealth has been criticised not only for its sporting meets – in a world in which China is a growing point of friction, its economic and diplomatic relevancy have also been called into question.
Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled, made nothing?
Are you willing to be made nothing?
dipped into oblivion?
If not, you will never really change.
There was a buzz of excitement in the air for athletes, coaches and volunteers — and for me — when the 2018 Commonwealth Games started with spectacular opening ceremonies in Gold Coast, Australia. But despite the glitzy ceremony, the shine of the Commonwealth Games appears to have dulled.
In 1982 the Commonwealth Games were held in Brisbane. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people used the international focus on the event to their benefit, bringing to light the injustices they faced every day by staging a protest.
Next year’s Games in Birmingham will likely be the last on such a grand scale and some changes to safeguard the event’s future smack of desperation.
The Commonwealth Games will never be the same again after Birmingham 2022.
This is a presentation by Sifiso Khanyile in conversation with Palesa Nomanzi Shongwe. It’s from the Reframing Africa and Wits Department of Anthropology series titled Modernity, Cinema & Africa – The Challenges & Surprises of the Archive.
Interview with artist Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi on Equations for a Body at Rest
First it was the pared-down dynamism of sports courts and the architecture of athletic spaces that fascinated Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi. The artist’s interest in the people who train and compete in these venues began with re-working an old photograph of a lone gymnast having completed his floor routine. Nkosi decided to paint that white figure as a Black athlete.