- Category: PA 2001
Ari Sitas is a poet, dramatist and sociologist. A founder member of the Junction Avenue Theatre Company in Johannesburg, he was involved in most of its productions until 1982 when he moved to Durban. Sitas's involvement in popular and worker theatre since the 1970s has been widely celebrated and his broader writing and involvement as a leading intellectual in anti-Apartheid movements has left a trail of robust engagements within and outside the country. In 1978 he received the Olive Schreiner Award for his play Randlords and Rotgut, and in 1981 won an award for his video Howl at the Moon. His first collection of poetry met with much critical acclaim, and he followed this with a collection experimenting with musical form which was included in the anthology, Essential Things. Sitas's book, Slave Trades, a result of seven years of research and writing, is receiving tremendous reviews.
His recently completed collection, The Reconstruction and Development Poems, promises to be his most disturbingly controversial with their precise and bleak analysis of current traumas in South Africa's transition. Sitas has also penned a libretto for an opera for composer Jurgen Brauninger, Dead Fish and Dreams of Love Again, which is going to be produced in 2002. Ari Sitas is considered to be one of the country's leading sociologists and has been elected by the International Sociological Association on the executive of its world council. Locally, he is seen to be one of the core exemplars of the African Renaissance movement. In 1999 Sitas was one of a group who inaugurated, through the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, a global initiative linking creative work to contemporary issues of social justice.
Marabi, 1982, Wits University Press
Dikhitsheneng, 1980, Wits University Press
Will of a Rebel, 1979, Wits University Press
Randlords and Rotgut, 1978, Ad Donker
Fantastical History of a Useless Man, 1976, Raven Press
Slave Trades, 2000, Deep South
Songs, Shoeshine and Piano, 1992 (collection included in anthology Essential Things)
Tropical Scars, 1989, COSAU
Etopia, 1992, Madiba Press
William Zungu - A Xmas Story, 1991, Buchu Books