Thursday, July 22, 2010

Military Intelligence

There is a lot of stuff out there today masquerading as art. So I thought I'd join the club. I found this old notebook in which I did a so-called "Civic Action" course at 1 Intelligence Unit in Kimberley in late 1979, early 1980. It was the height of South Africa's Total Onslaught and Total Strategy period, as the isolated apartheid state faced not only a growing internal insurrection, but also the collapse of the Portuguese territories of Mozambique and Angola and a growing insurgency by Swapo guerrillas in northern South West Africa. Typically, this notebook is just half a notebook, because we tore A4 books in half so there were enough to go around. Anyway, I kept this, presumably, for the few drawings to be found on its covers and some inside pages. But anyone wishing to get an insight into just how the military state intended dealing with its pressing security problems could find some interesting snippets here. I have printed 24 out of about 40 pages of notes I took during lectures probably 90% in Afrikaans. The acronym PB, for example, will be for Plaaslike Bevolking, or Local Population. Given my repugnance for apartheid, you can imagine I wasn't too charmed being forced to listen to this, but it did give me an interesting insight into where they were coming from.

The front (half) cover of that notebook, which would have been folded in half again to fit in a pocket.

The first of some 20 pages of propaganda, much of it concerned about "communist propaganda" and all sorts of other "threats", while missing the obvious point that until black people in this country and Namibia got political rights, there would be no peace. Click on these to see them larger. Hope the writing is fairly legible.

For some light relief from the above, I sketched some of my colleagues.

The quote here is from a song by Tubeway Army, I think.

More bored soldier lads. Personally, I was fascinated by this view into what has been called "the heart of the whore".

Somewhere along the way, this book came with me into the veld, where I did this sketch.

A few more caricature-like sketches.

The bruised and battered back cover of that old notebook.

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