The Social Sphere is a collection of the writing of Johann Harmse.
Johann has written for The Star and City Press, and is currently studying Journalism at Rhodes University. His writing interests include South African society, film, health, consciousness and South African history.
Conceived as an exhibition of the social landscape of South Africa, The Social Sphere is an attempt to consolidate the historical, social and political elements of South African society. The writing collected in The Social Sphere is informed and directed by Johann’s academic background in South African history and the study of post-Apartheid South Africa. As a result, the themes explored in the Sphere are foregrounded in the history of South Africa, South Africa’s place in a dynamic global context and the place of the individual in South African society.
At the heart of The Social Sphere are two acknowledgements. Firstly, that a country built by violence and domination and still maimed by the symptoms of unresolved social ills demands to be interrogated by those who were raised in, shaped by and especially those who thrive in that society. Secondly, that this is not a burden. The social and psychological legacy of Apartheid, it’s status as one of the newest democracies in the world and its unique and diverse people make South African society one of the most interesting and unique social case studies in the world.
The Social Sphere is an expression of these two beliefs, and a conscious attempt by this South African to fulfill both a social obligation and a commitment to the recording, analysing and interrogating of the South African story.
More than anything, it is a commitment to an appreciation of one of the most interesting and complex social landscapes in the world, an expression of the responsibility of the modern South African and the privilege of the South African Journalist.
Finally, as a part of his development as a writer, there will be self-reflective work on this blog. Additionally, writing about writing will feature regularly.