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Animals and nature : mapping storylines and metaphors in David Kramer’s narratives

Slabbert, M. (2011-04)

CITATION: Slabbert, M. 2011. Animals and nature : mapping storylines and metaphors in David Kramer’s narratives. Literator, 32(1): 99-120, doi: 10.4102/lit.v32i1.5.

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This article discusses the representation of animals and nature in selected lyrics from the oeuvre of singer, songwriter and producer David Kramer and considers his engagement with historical and contemporary discourses about human-animal and human-nature interaction in relation to ecological awareness within a South African context. I trace the socio-political commentary voiced through his depiction of animals in the folksongs he wrote during apartheid, especially in lyrics from the album “Baboondogs” (Kramer, 1986). Kramer also employs intertextual references to traditional South African folksongs and tales in his music. Furthermore, the social and environmental significance of Kramer’s representations of nature in a selection of his postapartheid lyrics is investigated. I argue that the pedagogical value of Kramer’s cultural commentary can contribute significantly to the challenge of teaching animal studies and ecocriticism in South African context.

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