Jong Afrikaner: A Self-Portrait is a series of frank and elegant portraits of urbanised, creative, engaged Afrikaners who present a challenge to preconceived ideas about Afrikaner identity and values. These ‘new’ Afrikaners negotiate their lives as a minority group in South Africa. Their connection to each other—by kin, marriage, friendship or shared beliefs, preferences and tastes—suggests a cohesion very different from the forced identity of the apartheid years.
Van Wyk chose his subjects—all of them known to him personally through friendship, work or family—for their extraordinary and interesting lives that demonstrate a multi-layered and richly varied Afrikaner identity: a married gay couple adopts a black child; a pint-sized young woman is the voice of an Afrikaans ‘rap-rave’ band making waves globally; an Afrikaner man becomes a sangoma.
These young Afrikaners have come of age in the period since the demise of apartheid, and though they inherit the baggage of their shared past, they also wholeheartedly seek and embrace a more complex personal identity than the narrow, state-sanctioned nationalist identity that apartheid fashioned for them.
Jong Afrikaner includes Stephanus Muller’s complex and rich text, ‘Betoog oor die Epiese Soektog na die Beminde van die Siel in die Vernielde Wingerd’, specially commissioned for this book and translated into English and Dutch by Michiel Heyns and Riet de Jong.