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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 4 of Episode 63

22:00The South American state of Chile has a history very similar to ours. It suffered for years under a dictatorship and after democracy was restored it also had a Truth Commission to help it cope with its past. One of Chile’s most important writers and playwrights, who’s also something of a contemporary international philosopher, is Ariel Dorfman. Dorfman visited South Africa recently and I travelled with him. He met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other Truth Commissioners and he was very moved by his visit to Robben Island. Just before he left the Island he had a conversation with a very interesting man called Gerald Brand. Brand has been living on Robben Island for seven years and he was the last head of the prison. Today he works with some of the people he once guarded in the Robben Island Museum. This is part of their conversation and if you’re wondering about Dorfman’s American accent, he has been living in exile in America for a number of years and he is presently ...moreFull Transcript
23:03I was asking recently one of your guides and he said this is a symbol, it’s not a prison anymore, it’s a symbol of reconciliation. And I said well how is it a symbol of reconciliation? And he said it’s because at this point people who used to be warders here are now working with former prisoners hand in hand. I just was wondering how this was for you, because you’ve been here for seven years now and you are now working with some of the people you were guarding. // That’s right. // What does that mean? It just seems very strange to me. It seems wonderful but strange at the same time. // It’s a big challenge from both sides I think to really get to know each other and understand each other, but we’re working towards a common goal. And all of us, the former warders that are still on the island as well as the former political prisoners see Robben Island as a place which is very very special to all of us. Robben Island is the symbol of democracy in our country and if we can ...moreFull Transcript
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