Soweto Travel Guide

In popular culture

Songs alluding to Soweto

Clarence Carter Has a song called "The Girl From Soweto" or "Where did the girl go, from Soweto."

Soweto is mentioned in the song Burden of Shame from the British band UB40 on their 1980 album Signing off.

Singer–songwriter Joe Strummer, formerly of the Clash, referenced Soweto in his solo album Streetcore (song: "Arms Aloft"), as well as in the Clash track, "Where You Gonna Go (Soweto)", found on the album London Calling (Legacy Edition).

The UK music duo Mattafix has a song called "Memories Of Soweto" on their 2007 album Rhythm & Hymns.

Soweto is mentioned in the anti-apartheid song "Gimme Hope Jo'anna" by Eddy Grant. The line "While every mother in a black Soweto fears the killing of another son" refers to police brutality during apartheid.

Miriam Makeba's song: "Soweto Blues".

Dr. Alban's song "Free Up Soweto" was included in the 1994 album Look Who's Talking.

Mexican group Tijuana No! recorded the song "Soweto" for their first album "No". In reference to the city and the movements.

It is also the name of a song by the rap group Hieroglyphics.

American band Vampire Weekend refers to its own musical style, a blend of indie rock and pop with African influences, as "Upper West Side Soweto", based on the same description of Paul Simon's album Graceland.

Fiction and cinema

The 1976 uprising was depicted in the 1989 film A Dry White Season, which starred Donald Sutherland, Marlon Brando and Susan Sarandon as white South Africans pursuing justice for the deaths of black Soweto residents which followed the demonstrations.

The marches by students in Soweto are briefly mentioned in a novel by Linzi Glass named Ruby Red, which was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in 2008. Soweto is also mentioned in the novel, Waiting for the Rain by Sheila Gordon.

Soweto was characterized in the 2003 American film Stander. The film presented the story of Andre Stander, a rogue police captain who sympathized with the irrational state of apartheid and its corruption by becoming a bank thief. The Soweto uprising riots provided Stander's breaking point in the film.

In 2006, Sara Blecher and Rimi Raphoto made the popular documentary Surfing Soweto, about young kids "surfing" in the roof of Soweto trains, and the social problem this represents.

The 2009 film District 9 was shot in Soweto, specifically Tshiawelo. The plot involves a species of aliens who arrive on Earth in a starving and helpless condition, seeking aid. The originally benign attempts to aid them turn increasingly oppressive due to the overwhelming numbers of aliens and the cost of maintaining them, and to increasing xenophobia on the part of humans who treat the intelligent and sophisticated aliens like animals while taking advantage of them for personal and corporate gain. The aliens are housed in shacks in a slum-like concentration camp called "District 9", which is in fact modern-day Soweto; an attempt to evacuate the aliens to another camp leads to violence and a wholesale slaughter by South African mercenary security forces (a reference to historical events in "District Six", a mostly Coloured neighborhood subjected to forced segregation during the apartheid years). The parallels to apartheid South Africa are obvious but not explicitly remarked on in the film.

source: Wikipedia

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