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A Country Imagined

A Country Imagined

This series is a celebration and interrogation of art that depicts the South African landscape as seen through the eyes of a man, who is better qualified than most but, who, at the same time, acknowledges that he still has so much to learn.

In this landmark 13-part series the host takes us on a journey through South Africa to explore the connections between

landscape, art and identity in a highly polished, ground- breaking and entertaining series. On his journey the host engages with a number of issues that are unexpected, perhaps controversial and even revelatory. His quest is to find out and expose the finer elements of what is often a coarse discourse in South Africa mainly because our landscape, both rural and urban, has become something of a political battlefield.

From the breathtaking mountains of the Cape’s Drakensburg to the austere flatlands of the Karoo, generations of artists have been challenged by South Africa’s topography and, in turn, their images, words and music have influenced how we look at our own country. Some artist/writers have left to live abroad but many remain emotionally and aesthetically tethered to South Africa: JM Coetzee, Abdullah Ibrahim, Marlene Dumas, Anna Landsman, Breyten Breytenbach, Paul Stopforth, Anthony Sher.

A Country Imagined looks at the historical representations of the SA landscape in the work of early white colonial painters. At the same time, the series explains why the black man was seen as a mere shadowy presence flirting across the stage now and then only to hold a horse or to carry a spear in what appeared at the time, to be a whites – only discourse.

Yet largely ignored, black art was busy in the background describing a raw internal landscape contoured by oppression. The series is informed by questions like: do we as South Africans have different aesthetic responses to the land? Is our view circumscribed by our different relationships to the landscape, like ownership versus dispossession, and other similar themes?

  • Duration: 48 minutes
  • Episodes: 13
  • Language/s: English
  • Seasons: Filmed in HD
Category: .
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