Nelson Mandela is dead and in South Africa his dream of a rainbow nation is fading. Twenty-two years after the fall of apartheid, groups of white Afrikaners have cut themselves off from this unpredictable country, fearing that their language, culture, and eventually their entire people, may soon become extinct.
Living on edge in an ever-changing nation, many have retreated to the breakaway republic of Orania, where they work to construct a utopia for white Africans. Within the safety of their laager – a homeland with its own flag and currency – they can, once again, dictate the rules. Weaving between past and present, Into The Laager traces the war for control of South Africa, its people and its history, through a series of December 16ths, beginning with the Battle of Blood River in 1838. In so doing, it takes us back to the origin of these fears: the years of nationalism and social engineering behind this modern struggle for identity and relevancy.
Along the way, Norman asks the difficult questions – those which are as relevant in today’s South Africa as they were in 1838: How do people react when they believe their cultural identity is under threat? And how far are we prepared to go to survive as a people?
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