It is not uncommon that I find myself in a group of parents discussing “the way we live now” and bemoaning the effects on children of growing up in a suburban SA family circa 2019. There is the lack of stamina, strength and fine motor co-ordination — never mind the lack of imagination — that come from a sedentary lifestyle and too much screen time. There is the limited capacity for independence, for going off exploring with other kids, which is a result of staying in a house hidden behind security walls and having parents who are neurotic about child snatching. “When we were young …” goes the refrain. This is all very well, but such reminiscing can start to blend (especially for white people, although black people are not immune to it) with a certain kind of apartheid nostalgia. Here we are in dangerous territory. To grapple with contemporary complexities — whether these are social, economic, technological or political — should never mean to allow the indulgence of an idealised past...

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