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Inventing an alternative through oppositional publishing: Afrikaans alternative book publishing in apartheid South Africa - the publishing house Taurus (1975-1991) as a case study

R Venter


The article highlights aspects of oppositional, underground and alternative cultural production, specifically book publishing in Afrikaans, in apartheid South Africa. It provides an overview of contemporary cultural and literary events that re-evaluate anti-apartheid initiatives from within the Afrikaans community. The publishing history of a significantly important anti-apartheid print culture institution, the independent anti-apartheid publishing house Taurus (1975-1991), is reconstructed. This history is positioned within a broad historical overview of the origin of South African publishing and the struggle for press freedom; the origin and development of Afrikaans and the rise of Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid; the context of legislative restrictions; and the impact of censorship on the climate of cultural production. The article concludes with some remarks concerning the current state of censorship in post-apartheid South Africa.

Innovation Vol. 35 2007 pp. 91-124