The Faculty of Humanities, in collaboration with the Museum for African Art (New York) and The Nelson Mandela Foundation launched a reading of Ashwin Desai’s book Reading Revolution: Shakespeare on Robben Island. The reading was held on 11 October 2012 at the APK Library Auditorium.
One of the panel members of the discussion who was on Robben Island from 1964- 1974, Marcus Solomon, of the Children Resource Centre, said that one of the biggest tragedies today is that children don’t have access to books especially in the rural areas. The book mentions different levels of studying that took place on the Robben Island. “Education does not bring liberation and without liberation, there is no education”, said Marcus Solomon.
Verne Harris of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and one of the key members of the panel, mentioned that Desai’s book is stimulating and refreshing compared to other books that have been written about Robben Island. According to Harris, this is because Desai did not feature Nelson Mandela or the Rivonia Trial. He also mentioned that the most interesting part of the book is the 6th Act. In closing, Harris said that Desai’s book open envelopes and invites narrative.
Ashwin Desia is a Professor and Director of the Centre for Sociological Research at UJ. Amongst the reading of his current book, he has written books such as: We are the Poor: Community struggles in Post- Apartheid South Africa. He also edited the collection of The Race to Transform: Sport in Post- Apartheid South Africa.