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Franschhoek Literary Festival

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Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Tom Watt, John Carlin, Chris Thurman Discuss The Beautiful Game at the FLF

Tom Watt, Chris Thurman and John Carlin

A big part of soccer is the rivalry between one team and the other, but at the same time this game has the power to eliminate divisions in society on economic, social, racial and political levels. “It is called the beautiful game because it belongs to us all.” This is what Tom Watt, author of The Beautiful Game said in a discussion about the upcoming Fifa 2010 World Cup with John Carlin (Invictus) and Chris Thurman (Sport versus Art) at the Franschhoek Literary Festival.

A Beautiful GameInvictusSport Versus ArtOn the one hand soccer can be very “tribal” with fans stick to their teams no matter what: “When going to a game, you actually only watch 11 players, the other team is just this foggy thing that you don’t notice,” Watts said. He is an avid Arsenal supporter. “If you take the tribalism out, you are missing a big part of soccer. You cannot even really begin to understand it.”

On the other hand, soccer teams in the European leagues are becoming more and more multicultural. Traditional national borders and racial differences are not of importance when the players for these teams are chosen. “And the multiculturalism spills over into the crowd,” Watt continued, “I’m very proud to be an Arsenal supporter because the crowd at their games is always one of the most culturally diverse in the world.”

In June, when the Fifa World Cup kicks off in South Africa, the country will play host to people from all over the world and we will experience firsthand what Watt speaks about.

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FLF Live! Is Sport the New Politics? with Ndumiso Ngcobo, Jeremy Boraine, John Carlin and Tim Noakes

BOOK SA editor Ben Williams livetweeted the Is Sport the New Politics? panel in the Franschhoek School Hall. Read a selection of tweets from the event:

#flf10 …and Chris Thurman gets things going. “Is sport the new politics” is a richly ambiguous question, he says, then makes the introsless than a minute ago via web

#flf10 “Sport has also been a unifying factor” chiefly in the sphere of raceless than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Noakes: administrators manage sport for their own agenda. Sees that sport’s real benefactors are the people at the top. Sport = mafialess than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Now Ngcobo jumps in: “When Francois Pienaar lifted the trophy in 1995, I admit I was watching soccer.”less than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Ngcobo: In 1995, I told myself, “I will *not* watch rugby”. Instead, I watched another game that Englishmen brought us.less than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Carlin: Slabbert recalled a moment from the 1995 rugby wc: a tear-streaked Afrikaner chanting “That’s my president!” at the finalless than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Boraine’s turn. “Last night I was thinking about the question before us. Perhaps it shd be inverted: ‘Is politics the new sport?’”less than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Thurman: What about sport and the literary experience? (Quotes JM Coetzee about SA’s terrible sportswriting)less than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Carlin (who’s a sportswriter, among other things): Coetzee’s so bloody miserable, isn’t he?less than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Boraine calls sport, rather memorably, “ritualised barbarism”. The writing about it will necessarily be secondary.less than a minute ago via web

#flf10 …and I’ve noticed that the only people who complain about vuvuzelas are people who don’t normally go to football matchesless than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Carlin: I think we’ve come to the crux of the matter: S Africans will be united as never before through hatred of FIFAless than a minute ago via web

Follow more FLF tweets – and add any comments of your own using the Facebook livestream tool!

Is It Coz I'm Black?InvictusLore of RunningSport Versus Art

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FLF Live! Making the Movie with John Carlin, Mark Behr, John van de Ruit and Jann Turner

John Carlin, Jann Turner, John van de Ruit, Mark Behr #flf10

BOOK SA editor Ben Williams livetweeted the Franschhoek Literary Festival session on turning books into movies with John Carlin, Mark Behr, John van de Ruit and Jann Turner. Here is a selection of tweets from the event:

#flf10 John Carlin tells a story about about his first text-to-movie experience, which spun out of an “information warfare” article of hisless than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Carlin: 20th Century Fox called me and asked to buy the rights to the article, which baffled meless than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Turner: Can we talk a bit more about Invictus… Carlin: No, please let’s talk a bit more about Die Hard IV (laughter)less than a minute ago via web

#flf10 van de Ruit mentions that Leon Schuster first approached him to turn Spud into a movie, which scared the hell out of himless than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Behr mentions that he didn’t, and doesn’t, want to be part of the creation of The Smell of Apples’ screenplay…less than a minute ago via web

#flf10 Turner: I became a novelist because I couldn’t get any of my films made. But filmmaking was her first loveless than a minute ago via web

Follow more FLF tweets – and add any comments of your own using the Facebook livestream tool!

InvictusKings of the WaterSpud SpudSpud

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Political themes to fuel healthy debates at Franschhoek Literary Festival

Challenging political themes are currently prevalent on our national media platforms, and respected writers will also engage in conversations about tough political topics at this year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival, planned for 14 – 16 May 2010.

On 15 May at 10:00, Ndumiso Ngcobo (Is it ‘Cos I’m Black?), Jeremy Boraine (Publisher at Jonathan Ball), John Carlin (Playing the Enemy) and Tim Noakes (The Lore of Running) put the boot into 2010, to answer the question Is Sport the New Politics?, in a session refereed by Chris Thurman (Sport Versus Art).

On 15 May at 11:30, poet and journalist Antjie Krog will be in conversation with Duncan Brown, Dean of the Arts Faculty at UWC, about her new book Begging to be Black, in which she explores complex interwoven personal, political and social themes. She will also delve into non-fiction as a dominant genre in South Africa.

In Who’s Afraid of the ANC? on 15 May at 14:30, Kader Asmal, cartoonist Zapiro and Allan Boesak (Running with Horses) exchange views with agent provocateur Rhoda Kadalie on what’s really going on behind the scenes of the ruling party. Jonathan Jansen, who was scheduled to participate in this session, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate at Cleveland State University. The graduation ceremony will be over the FLF weekend, and therefore he is regrettably unable to attend the FLF this year.

On 16 May at 10:00, the issue of refugees and the worldwide growing problem of xenophobia will be under discussion in “Amakwerekwere”. Aher Arop Bol (The Lost Boy), who has been on the move most of his short life, Andrew Brown (Refuge) who writes about Nigerian immigrants and Time journalist Alex Perry (Falling Off the Edge), will be in conversation with American author Philip Gourevitch, who has written extensively about Rwanda.

On 16 May at 11:30, passionate educationists Mandla Langa (The Lost Colours of the Chameleon) and Graeme Bloch (The Toxic Mix) discuss the state of the South African education system and what needs to be done to create schools that we can all be proud of in We Don’t Need No Education, chaired by Victor Dlamini.

Bookings for these and more thought provoking sessions at the 2010 FLF are available from Unless otherwise indicated, ticket prices for the FLF are R60 per session (R20 for students), with a large part of the proceeds going to the FLF Literary Fund.

For further information and the detailed programme schedule, please refer to the FLF website,, or email the helpline For accommodation and general enquiries contact the Franschhoek Tourism office (021) 876 3603 or go to

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