On the record. Popular Afrikaans music & society 1900-2017
S.D. van der Merwe
Popular Afrikaans music artists have done well in post-apartheid South Africa and enjoy the enthusiastic support of loyal fans. This support is fuelled by a complex set of emotions linked to “being Afrikaans” in a culturally pluralistic society. In On Record, Van der Merwe investigates the interplay between popular music and the unfolding of Afrikaans culture politics from the start of the twentieth century to the present. It includes a search for the earliest recorded Afrikaans songs and documents subsequent phases of music development that reflect the agency of ordinary individuals - artists and listeners - against a background of fundamental societal and political change. It regards both the music mainstream and the alternative, and reveals, among other things, historical cases of compliance and resistance regarding the master narrative of Afrikaner nationalist ideology, the attempts by cultural entrepreneurs to establish authority over popular Afrikaans culture, class tension, lasting racial exclusivity, protest and censorship, and the post-apartheid invocation of Afrikaner nostalgia and white victimhood. Ultimately, On Record provides an uninterrupted account, and a critique, of the entire history of recorded popular Afrikaans music up to the present.