[The JRB Daily] 2024 HSS Awards winners announced—honouring ‘outstanding works of literature and the arts’

The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) has announced the winners of the ninth annual HSS Awards, honouring ‘outstanding works of literature and the arts’.

The HSS Awards are open to ‘all academics, curators and artists of various forms of creative work’ based in South Africa, and recognise those ‘undertaking the necessary work of creating post-apartheid and postcolonial forms of scholarship, creative production and digital humanities outputs’, highlighting ‘the profound societal impact of the humanities and social sciences and its capacity to shape our world’.

The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Javett Arts Centre in Pretoria on 14 March 2022.

A panel of 26 judges considerd 217 entries this year: 63 fiction, 82 non-fiction, 55 creative contributions and 17 entries in the digital humanities.

Judge Sikhumbuzo Mngadi, associate professor at the University of Johannesburg, found ‘a depth of engagment with familiar themes such as the alienation of the individual in a changing society, the tensions between traditional and contemporary ways of life, meditations on mortality and self-reflective reconstructions of the apartheid past.’

This year, 15 submissions were received in languages other than English, and judge Tshinetise Raphalalani, senior lecturer at the University of Venda, said: ‘I want to appeal to our African writers to consider writing their works in indigenous African languages to be on par with English.’

Judge Nthambeleni Netshisaulu, senior lecturer at the University of Venda, added: ‘Let’s all encourage our African languages, since we think in, see with, dream with, are angry in, happy in, in touch with, feel in, marry in, learn in our mother tongue which is our language.’

2024 HSS Awards winners

Best Non-fiction Edited Volume

Revisiting Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: Reconsideration and Restoration by Sabata-Mpho Mokae and Brian Willan (Jacana Media)

Best Non-fiction Monograph (joint winners)

Durban’s Casbah: Bunny Chows, Bolsheviks and Bioscopes by Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed (UKZN Press)

Guerrillas and Combative Mothers: Women and the Armed Struggle in South Africa by Siphokazi Magadla (UKZN Press)

Best Non-fiction Biography (joint winners)

Eto la Mofaladi by Moses Seletisha (Matete Publishing)

Written Out: The Silencing of Regina Gelana Twala by Joel Cabrita (Wits University Press)

Best Fiction Novel

The Ghost of Sam Webster by Craig Higginson (Picador Africa)

Best Fiction Poetry

Ontaard by Pieter Odendaal (Tafelberg)

Best Fiction Short Stories

What Remains by Dawn Garisch (Karavan Press)

Best Fiction Edited Volume

Fluid: The Freedom to Be edited by Joanne Hichens and Karina M Szczurek (Tattoo Press)

Best Fiction Emerging Winners (joint winners)

Peaches and Smeets by Ashti Juggath (Modjaji Books)

Everyone Dies by Frankie Murrey (Karavan Press)

Best Visual Biography

Intellectual Giants of the Eastern Cape by Alette Schoon and Hleze Kunju

Best Musical Composition/Arrangement (joint winners)

The Past is Unpredictable, Only the Future is Certain by Vuma Levin

Music from My People by Sibusiso Mashiloane

Best Exhibition Catalogue (joint winners)

Handle With Care by Gabi Ngcobo

Our Ocean is Sacred, You Can’t Mine Heaven by Dylan McGarry and Boudina McConnachie

Best Digital Humanities Project for Community Engagement

Indlela Yokuphila: The Soul’s Journey by Dylan McGarry and Mpume Mthombeni

Best Digital Humanities Visualisation or Infographic

Ellipses: Issue 4: Architectures of the South: Bruising, Healing, Remembering, Returning and Repairing edited by Catalina Mejía Moreno and Huda Tayob

Best Visual Art

The-Used-to-Be-Normal-Eight-Tentacled Octopus by Amberleigh du Plessis

Best Public Performance

Bhumi / Earth by Reshma Chhiba, Anusha Pillay and Panna Dulabh

Best Emerging Artist/Curator

Koples boek(e) by Amogelang Maledu and Kamyar Bineshtarigh

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