The Holberg Laureate LIVE: Apartheid after South Africa

The end of Apartheid in South Africa coincided with a renewed drive to expand our definition of the human and to reimagine democracy as a community of life.

Achille Mbembe and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen. (Photo: Chanté Schatz, University of the Witwatersrand; Eivind Senneset).

During the first decade of democracy, South Africa became a model of how to dismantle a racist state, achieve justice through reconciliation, equality through economic redress, and freedom through the transformation of the law and the restoration of a variety of rights, including the right to dignity. Thirty years into democracy, what remains of the dream of disentangling the old nexus between democracy and necropolitics?

The day after receiving the Holberg Prize in Bergen, Holberg Laureate Achille Mbembe ( will join Bjørn Enge Bertelsen in conversation at the House of Literature in Oslo.

The event is open to the public, but registration is required. Watching the livestream does not require registration.

This event ends the 2024 Holberg Week, which takes place from 4 to 7 June, in Bergen and Oslo.


Achille Mbembe

Achille Mbembe is the 2024 Holberg Laureate. Mbembe is a Research Professor of History and Politics at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Witwatersrand. He is also Director of the Innovation Foundation for Democracy. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the British Academy, Mbembe is the author of ten books and his work has been translated into 17 languages. His latest book is La communauté terrestre (Paris, La Découverte, 2023).

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Bergen. He is the Academic Director of the Holberg Prize. His research delves into the nature of the urban, political protest, egalitarianism and violence.

The individual organizer is responsible for the event and text, obtaining photo permission, and photo credit. For questions about content, participants, or other details, please contact the organizer directly.

Do you want to rent Wergeland?

This event will take place in Wergeland. Wergeland er Litteraturhusets storstue, med amfi og stolrader.

Bilde av Litteraturhusets hovedsal Wergeland

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