Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch: a small South African university city in the heart of the Western Cape’s Wineland municipality, home to roughly 24.000 students from a range of backgrounds and home to Woordfees, the largest literary festival in Afrikaans. Among the 100.000 visitors in 2013, there were seven artists who will show you what they experienced there.

Woordfees, the literary festival of the University of Stellenbosch, is citybooks’ local partner. Woordfees made sure Saskia de Coster and Arjen Duinker received a warm welcome. Alongside those authors (who are respectively Flemish and Dutch), the writers Marlene van Niekerk, Clinton du Plessis and Rentia Bartlett-Möhl (coordinator) also took part in the project.

Stefan Möhl, the photographer who portrayed the ‘Nighthawks’ of Stellenbosch, the videographer Emma Lesius, who made 24 City One Minute films and a group of students that, together, made a second series of 24 City One Minutes, provided the visual components for this edition of citybooks.

Since the 1679 inland expedition in search of rivers and good building grounds in the Jonckershoek Valley, led by Simon van der Stel, many European immigrants have settled in Stellenbosch. (Stellenbosch: the bos, Dutch for ‘forest’, of Van der Stel). In the following centuries, the town’s character is shaped by two historical developments: the first vineyards arrived in 1685, and in 1859 the first teachers’ college was opened.

The foundation of the town’s seminary and the Victoria college in 1887 – it became the University of Stellenbosch in 1918 – contributed greatly to the creation of Stellenbosch as a symbol of the national Afrikaner ideal: a breeding ground for an brand of idealistic patriotism that would be called into question only towards the end of the apartheid era.

These days, Stellenbosch is a university city home to roughly 24.000 students from a range of backgrounds, and is currently at the centre of the ‘taalstryd’ (battle between languages) that surrounds the use of Afrikaans in higher education. The University of Stellenbosch employs Afrikaans as its primary academic language, but also operates in a multilingual context in which both English and isiXhosa play important roles.

 


 

Tydens die US Woordfees van 1-10 Maart 2013, maak vyf skrywers, een fotograaf en ʼn aantal video-kunstenaars saam ʼn stadsportret van Stellenbosch in Suid-Afrika – ʼn universiteitsdorp in die hart van die Wes-Kaapse Wynland. Die Universiteit Stellenbosch se Woordfees neem deel as vennoot van die projek en as gasheer van die Nederlander Arjen Duinker en die Belgiese Saskia de Coster en sorg vir onderhoude, losies en voordragte.

Behalwe hierdie Vlaamse en Nederlandse skrywers, neem die Suid-Afrikaanse skrywers Marlene van Niekerk, Clinton du Plessis en Rentia Bartlett-Möhl (koördineerder), deel aan die projek. Vir die visuele deel van hierdie citybook-uitgawe, sorg die fotograaf Stefan Arno Möhl, video-kunstenaar Emma Lesuis en ʼn groep studente wat saam ʼn reeks City One Minutes gemaak het.

Sedert Simon van der Stel op 8 November 1679 sy eerste binnelandse inspeksie onderneem het en gelei is na die waterstrome en goeie bougrond van die Jonkershoekvallei, het die indringer eik saam met die Europese kolonis homself permanent op Stellenbosch (bos van Van der Stel) vasgewortel.

Twee ontwikkelinge op die dorp het die karakter daarvan, soos dit vandag nog bestaan bepaal: die ontwikkeling van die wynbou-industrie sedert 1685, asook die ontwikkeling van Stellenbosch as onderwysstad sedert 1859 met die stigting van die Kweekskool. Met die ontwikkeling van die teologiese seminarium en in 1887 die Victoria kollege wat later (1918) die Universiteit van Stellenbosch geword het, het dit vinnig duidelik geword dat Stellenbosch ʼn simbool was van die nasionale ideale van die Afrikaners en ʼn voedingsbron van ʼn idealistiese patriotisme wat eers later, teen die einde van Apartheid, bevraagteken is.

Vandag is Stellenbosch ʼn universiteitsstad waar ongeveer 24 000 studente van verskillende bevolkingsgroepe studeer. Dit is ʼn middelpunt van die sogenaamde “taalstryd” waar die gebruik van Afrikaans in die Hoër Onderwys op die spervuur beland het. Die Universiteit is verbind tot die ontwikkeling van hoofsaaklik Afrikaans as akademiese taal, maar wel vandag binne ʼn meertalige konteks waar daar ook rekening gehou word met Engels en isiXhosa.

 

 

 


 

City One Minutes

 

Watch the videos at cityoneminutes.org.