Hier kom ‘n transformasie (Here comes a transformation)

by Naretha Pretorius

It has been a while since my last post, simply because it has been a while since I completed my masters studies and thus a long time since I have made art or thought about my art, my childhood, my identity and the likes.

I have a feeling that my thoughts might become a bit more prominent again and that I will write about it again… why?  Well, life is taking me on a new journey.  I am another son richer (welcome beautiful little Ludovic), and I resigned from my company after 13 years of loyal service, and joined the world of public academia.   And with academia comes the need to learn, study and to engage in critical thinking.

With thinking comes questions, with questions comes the need to find answers.  Someone asked me the other day what I believe transformation means, especially in a South African context… and it made me think.  I asked myself: “what does transformation mean to me as a white Afrikaner female?” and “what does transformation mean for the people in a country like South Africa, especially considering that it’s one of the most used words in our media?”.

In 1994 with the first democratic elections, and with the end of Apartheid, the political ‘instruction’ to the public of South Africa was that we needed to transform.  How does an entire country that consists of 11 official languages, and a myriad of colourful cultures and races transform as a ‘unity’?  How does an individual that forms part of a larger cultural group transform if you are not even sure what you are transforming into?  Transformation in South Africa ‘happened to us’, and close to 20 years later we are still transforming and trying to make sense of it.  So where does the transformation start, and what are we transforming into?

These questions might lead to my PhD studies, and it might be the exact kind of questions that require answering in our country.  With looking into these questions, means that yet another transformation is on it’s way, a new journey of awareness will start presenting new discoveries, meaning and realisations.

What is your understanding of transformation?  What is your experience of transformation? What does it mean to you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.