Dr Nechama Brodie’s work is characterised by a fearless dedication to data, facts and the unpacking of false information around highly sensitive topics. Brodie sums up her work in her Twitter bio: “I study fatal violence, data, and misinformation. Building open-source tools so others can do the same”.
In her previous bestseller, Femicide in South Africa, Brodie tackled how the media portrays femicide: Who they include, who they ignore and why. Her latest release, Farm Killings in South Africa, provides an unbiased look at one of the most controversial topics in South Africa.
In Farm Killings in South Africa, Brodie examines data, legal cases and the media’s problematic portrayal of farm murders. She does so with compassion and honesty.
Read our review of Femicide in South Africa HERE.
FARM KILLINGS: BRODIE CALLS FOR A REFOCUS ON THE FACTS
There is no denying that this is a very difficult topic. Violence and crime are never feel-good and light topics to read or talk about. But this does not mean that we should avoid it. In this book, Brodie challenges the silence that covers certain topics like ‘white genocide’ and farm murders.
She takes readers through decades of history, data, and court cases without ever losing the reader’s interest with political or legal jargon. With sound research and touching compassion, Brodie sticks to the facts as she unpacks the inequality of the media’s portrayal of farm murders.
She questions what we mean when we think of “farm murders”. Does it only mean farmers, or does it include any person who is killed on a farm? Does it only apply to white farmers and if so, why? Instead of skirting around uncomfortable topics like colonialism and land grabbing, Brodie faces these head on, making this book must-read.
‘FARM KILLINGS IN SOUTH AFRICA’ – SYNOPSIS
Are farm killings political? Criminal? Is there really a white genocide under a black majority government?
Farm murders have occupied a central role in South Africa’s narratives for over 200 years. At the same time, the definition of a ‘farmer’ is highly contested. Media reports and activism groups typical acknowledge white farmers, frequently excluding the large number of people of colour.
Dr Nechama Brodie uses information, spanning over the last four decades and more, gathered from media reports, together with statistical data, police reports, legal cases and civil society actions, to try and understand and explain what we do and do not know about farm killings in South Africa.
She also explores how we might integrate this information to help us see the phenomenon as a form of violence that affects many, not only a few, and which has affected us for far longer than contemporary narratives like to acknowledge.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
According to her website, Dr Nechama Brodie has worked as a multi-media journalist, publisher and editor for nearly twenty-five years. During her illustrious career, she has also dodged the secret police in Burma, reported on the myth of ‘white genocide’ in South Africa, and explored tunnels underneath Johannesburg.
Her work has appeared in several leading newspapers such as the Sunday Times, The Mail and Guardian. Brodie also holds a PhD in journalism and is a part-time lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Journalism and Media Studies. Her research work focuses on interpersonal violence and media representations of violence in the media.
Farm Killings in South Africa is published by Kwela Books and is available from Exclusive Books stores for R302.