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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Theater for development and TV nation: notes on an educational soap opera in South Africa
Author:Kruger, LorenISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:South Africa
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v030/30.4kruger.pdf
Abstract:'Soul City' is a serial in South Africa that combines soap opera's cliff-hanger dramaturgy, sudden revelations, and sentimental portrayal of long-suffering survivors with scenarios of personal and social dramas that focus on social health issues from smoking to AIDs. It uses urban South African English leavened with vernaculars, especially Zulu and Sotho. Broadcast for three seasons (1994, 1996, 1997) as a half-hour serial on mother, child and youth care, and in 1999 as an hour-long dramatic series focused on violence against women, 'Soul City' reached large audience and its name and reputation reached even listeners who did not have access to television. Since its form, content and mode of address have not remained unaffected by the institutional apparatus that has produced it, this article first looks at the competing institutional conditions of its production and reception before it turns to a description of the serial narrative in detail. 'Soul City's' syncretic form, multimedia production, and varying modes of address constitute its originality and educational potential but also leave points of tension between experiment and education, agit-prop and soap-opera, unresolved. Bibliogr., notes, ref.