S9 E2 Ashwin Desai, Goolam Vahed & Betty Govinden: Durban’s Casbah – “A City Within a City”

24 Aug 2023
S9 E2 Ashwin Desai, Goolam Vahed & Betty Govinden: Durban’s Casbah – “A City Within a City”

Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed talk with Betty Govinden about their book Durban’s Casbah. They reflect on personal and collective pasts, bunny chows and bioscopes, critical nostalgia, indentured labour, migration, jazz and the Casbah today.

Betty Govinden is a retired academic, researcher, writer, poet and critic. She was awarded the English Academy of Southern Africa Gold Medal for distinguished service in 2022. Her published works include Sister OutsidersRepresentation of Identity and Difference in Selected Writings by South African Indian Women (Unisa Press, 2008).

Ashwin Desai is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg. He is the author of Wentworth: The Beautiful Game and the Making of Place (UKZN Press, 2019) and Reading Revolution: Shakespeare on Robben Island (Unisa Press, 2012) among many others.

Goolam Vahed is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. His recent publications include Chota Motala. A Biography of Political Activism in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands (UKZN Press, 2018). He is the co-author with Ashwin Desai of Colour, Class and Community – The Natal Indian Congress, 1971-1994 (Wits University Press, 2021) and Durban’s Casbah: Bunny Chows, Bolsheviks and Bioscopes (UKZN Press, 2023).

In this episode we are in solidarity with journalist José Rubén Zamora Marroquín. We call on the authorities in Guatemala to free him. You can read more about his case here.

As tributes to him, Goolam reads “A Prison Evening” by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ashwin reads from Mafika Gwala’s poem for A.K.M. Docrat “A Stalwart – August 1977” and Betty reads from Maria Ressa’s How to Stand Up to a Dictator as well as a poem she wrote for José Rubén Zamora Marroquín.

Listen to the episode here: