South African

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The term South African usually refers to anything belonging to or arising from the political and geographical region called South Africa. Of course there is a problem with an itinerant and multicultural cultural activity such as dance or theatre - for when does a production become "South African"? (When there is an South African cast? When the play is put on in South Africa? etc.) So "South African arts" for example is perhaps best described by the more cumbersome terms, such as The arts in South Africa or The arts of South Africa, though each in turn has its own delimitations and/or shortcomings.

For the purposes of this encyclopaedia, the term South African (and the other terms related to it), refer not only to art works (plays, dances, films or performances created by South Africans, but also all works (foreign and local "texts") performed, shown or broadcast in South Africa by locals and foreigners, and all local productions performed, broadcast, shown or toured abroad.


Southern African is sometimes used to include South Africa, but to also indicate a slightly broader geographic and cultural area, including neighbouring countries, such as Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, etc.


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