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Arts and culture | Film screening

Documentary screening on a mining conflict in KwaZulu-Natal: This land

Thursday 7 February 2019
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room 5A-42

This land

The Land & Accountability Research Centre (LARC) at the University of Cape Town commissioned the vivid documentary film This Land as a way for rural people to bring the untold story of their struggle for rights and accountability on communal land into urban forums of legislative, political and corporate decision-making. This film is a critical contribution to the accelerating national debate about rights relating to land use and ownership in deep rural areas seldom visited by thought leaders, policymakers and legislators. 

The 48-minute film reflects national challenges in visits to three areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The main narrative follows the people of Makhasaneni in pristine hills near Melmoth in their battle against an Indian company‚Äôs secretive collusion with politically connected elites to develop a vast opencast iron-ore mine on the land they have farmed for generations. To illustrate what is at stake, the film follows a delegation from Makhasaneni on a visit to a working mine at Somkhele, using drone footage and personal testimony to show the reality that faces them.

Finally, This Land shows that mining is not the only threat as people from Babanango relate how their lifestyle is being destroyed as the grazing lands around them are turned into a game reserve. Take a look at the website of the documentary.

Register for this event.

This film screening has been jointly organized by the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, the Anthropology Department and the Collaborative Research Group Africa in the World of the African Studies Centre Leiden. 
The documentary screening will be followed by a Q&A.


Sabine Luning, Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology: focus on resource extraction, economic anthropology and issues of sustainability

Janet Bellamy, LARC: special interest in indigenous land rights in South Africa and the connection between indigenous rights, property law and dispossession

Janine Ubink, Van Vollenhoven Institute: focus on legal pluralism, customary law and traditional authorities in Africa

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