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Vol. II

ARPANET Test June 1976
with Samir Amin, Steve Biko, Francis Fukuyama & Minoru Yamasaki

Published on 14 March 2011. Presented as ACAF's contribution to MARKER at Art Dubai 2011. Featuring guest collaborator Khwezi Gule, a curator, artist and writer based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The following transcript presents an excerpt of a conversation that took place in June 1976 between Egyptian Marxist economist Samir Amin, South African Anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, American political economist Francis Fukuyama, and prominent American architect Minoru Yamasaki. The backdrop to this session was a series of large-scale public revolts by black South Africans in the township of Soweto against the policies of the country's apartheid regime. Biko who later became the embodiment of South African and to an extent African activism is sometimes referred to as Franck or Frank (Frank Talk) the pseudonym Biko often used as a writer. Please note that the respective computer terminals for each participant were identified by the names of gods from Roman mythology and have here been changed to reflect the actual names of the participants. The application, still in its early stage of development, had limited syntax capability, thus punctuation was limited to the full stop. Also, the original timestamps for each transmission have been removed for the sake of legibility.

Download the Arabic translation of the text.

* * *

Steve Biko
the Apartheid government has crossed the line they are killing kids. little kids as young as 11
Samir Amin
You are Steve right. Steve Biko.
Francis Fukuyama
Hello gentlemen.
Steve Biko
No. I am Frank Talk.
Minoru Yamasaki
Ah yes. Hello. This is Minoru Yamasaki in the States.
Samir Amin
Im Samir. Hello Frank sorry I jumped to conclusions.
Francis Fukuyama
This is Francis Fukuyama here.
Francis Fukuyama
Also in the States.
Steve Biko
Yes. Steve is under a banning order he cant speak to anyone about politics.
Samir Amin
Samir Amin writing from Paris.
Steve Biko
Hi Francis. Hi Samir and Minoru.
Francis Fukuyama
What a curious experiment. It brings us to the fore of what is happening there Steve.
Samir Amin
Hello Francis. Hello Minoru.
Steve Biko
how so.
Francis Fukuyama
I understand you are in Pretoria is this correct. Or elsewhere.
Minoru Yamasaki
Frank what has happened there.
Minoru Yamasaki
There hasnt been much in the papers.
Samir Amin
They are calling it a huge riot here in France.
Steve Biko
The students came out to protest against being forced to learn everything in Afrikaans and then the police shot at them hundreds dead many more injured thousands arrested tortured. Its a mess.
Samir Amin
Soweto is part of the city of Johannesburg right.
Minoru Yamasaki
But it is a racially segregated township I think.
Samir Amin
Ah yes.
Steve Biko
Its not a riot. That implies chaos the students were very organised but after the shootings it has been impossible to control the anger of the people more townships have joined the uprising we may be at the cusp of a genuine revolt here. people are just fed up with this regime.
Steve Biko
Of course no one outside of South Africa is doing anything about it.
Francis Fukuyama
The South African Government has been quiet about it to my knowledge.
Minoru Yamasaki
I believe the UN passed a resolution.
Minoru Yamasaki
Whatever that is worth.
Steve Biko
They say its a communist plot.
Steve Biko
The UN has to send troops in here and stop this madness.
Minoru Yamasaki
Are the students communists then.
Steve Biko
Everyone who opposes the government is a communist according to the regime.
Minoru Yamasaki
This is a familiar narrative here in the US as well.
Samir Amin
These governments only move when its important to their interests cannot imagine that non wealthy black South Africans are the caring object of these capitalist regimes.
Francis Fukuyama
So was it really purely about language.
Samir Amin
Ah same old dirty tricks.
Steve Biko
Not entirely. The language was a catalyst the real issue is the inferior Bantu education that teaches Black people servitude.
Steve Biko
Its Jim Crow meets the Nazi regime.
Samir Amin
Servitude is the name of the game whether it is entangled with race and ethnicity or just the servitude of the powerless to the powerful. Our planet is not looking good.