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Title:Managing public feeling: temporality, mourning and the Marikana Massacre in Rehad Desai's 'Miners shot down'
Author:Strauss, Helene
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 1992-6049)
Geographic term:South Africa
political repression
About person:Rehad Desai
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02560046.2016.1237320
Abstract:This paper analyses Rehad Desai's documentary film 'Miners shot down' in an effort to chart some of the ways in which public feelings were managed in both the run-up to and the aftermath of the Marikana massacre in South Africa. I suggest that the affective and temporal dimensions of current attempts at containing perceived threats to financial and political stability on the part of South Africa's business and political elite are key to understanding increasingly violent and repressive securitisation and crisis management strategies. The paper proceeds in three parts. First, I take a detour through scholarship on time and globalisation in order to make sense of the temporal politics of securitisation that led to the massacre in the first place. Second, I consider the difference between psychic and social forms of mourning and melancholia respectively, particularly in light of what these differences reveal about the technologies of sovereign control and affective containment implied by each. Finally, I offer a reading of the formal organisation of the documentary as a whole, and of those rhetorical and stylistic filmic elements that might be said to contract the temporal and affective distance that exists between the striking miners and viewing publics. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]