We gathered for our first seminar, aptly titled The Challenge, just as the first Covid-19 wave started to gain momentum in March 2020. The period that followed proved to be exceptionally challenging, but we overcame the unforeseen obstacles brought about by a global pandemic and hosted Seminar 2: The Good Society (with a very successful Antigone) in September 2021.
Class XII: Isilimela experienced the worst and best of times. There was a great gap between the first two seminars and the wait for borders to open up was long and uncertain, consequently we had to implement some changes and additions. We gathered on Zoom (resulting in unexpectedly tight connections between Fellows) and – most importantly – we added a Seminar, held from 31 March to 3 April 2022. This seminar revisited some themes from Seminar 2 and also dealt with:
- interesting developments within the US Republican Party,
- an exceptional and little-known leader in China,
- the race/identity experience (with the trauma we all face as a consequence),
- as well as some old favourites: Each of the Fellows in Class 12 and 13 were given a copy of Kwame Appiah’s book The Lies that Bind and we opened our race/identity discussion with the first chapter.
We also introduced live speakers. Logan Wort, a Fellow of the Kilimanjaro Class joined us to speak about his journey with ALI, his venture (The African Tax Administration Forum), and his impressions of the political and economic situation of our continent. Rudi Dicks, who leads the Projects Department in the Presidency, spoke about interventions to improve governance and delivery in SA, helping Fellows to better conceptualise their own contributions and ventures. Speaker contributions were deeply appreciated by Fellows and moderators alike. We are considering opening up “post graduate” seminars to all Fellows.
For those interested, we attach a link to the reading pack and strongly suggest that some texts might be considered for class gatherings:
- Martin Luther King Letter from Birmingham Jail
- Philosophy of Life
- The Borders Are Fluid Within Us
- The Lies That Bind
- The Terrifying Future of the American Right
- The Triumph and Terror of Wang Huning
- Theodore Roosevelt – Citizenship in a Republic
- Wide Open
- Ben Okri Will You Be At The Harvest