This book critically investigates the flourishing monument phenomenon in post-apartheid South Africa, notably the political discourses that fuel it; its impact on identity formation, its potential benefits, and most importantly its ambivalences and contradictions.
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Sabine Marschall, Dr.Phil. (1992) in History of Art, Eberhardt-Karls Universitat Tubingen, is Associate Professor and programme director of Cultural and Heritage Tourism at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. She has published extensively on South African art, architecture, cultural heritage and commemoration.
Contents List of photographs ix Acknowledgements xi Abbreviations and acronyms xiii Introduction 1 Interdisciplinary perspectives on monuments 4 Monument and memorial 11 Structure of this book 12 1 Cultural heritage conservation and policy 19 Introduction 19 Biased heritage landscape 20 Monuments and the 'soft revolution' 23 Developing conservation policy in a 'new' South Africa 28 Respecting the symbolic markers of the old order 29 The need for old monuments as points of reference 32 New heritage legislation 34 2 Paying tribute: The first public memorials to the victims of the liberation movements 41 Introduction 41 Competition ANC - PAC 43 Mamelodi township 46 Umkhonto memorial 47 Contestation 49 PAC memorial initiative 5 Pointing to the dead 52 Rival stakeholders in the representation of the past 55 Conclusion 57 3 Coming to terms with trauma: The TRC and memorials to the victims of apartheid violence 61 Introduction 61 Apartheid violence and its victims 62 Symbolic gestures of reconciliation 72 The need for truth and reconciliation 75 Material and symbolic reparations 77 The role of memorials in individual and group mourning 80 Acknowledging loss and suffering 82 Dealing with trauma 84 Discomforting memories 90 Conclusion 95 4 Imagining community through bereavement: The institutionalisation of traumatic memory 97 Introduction 97 Upgrading Solomon Mahlangu square 99 Public holidays and 'shrines of the nation' 102 Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct 104 The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum 109 Remembering June 16: Pars pro toto 112 Design and symbolism of the memorial 115 The Museum 118 Memorials turned monuments? 119 Commodification 121 Party-political appropriation 123 Community identification with newly installed heritage 128 Conclusion 134 5 Dealing with the commemorative legacy of the past 137 Introduction 137 Destruction, damage and vandalism 138 The removal of Verwoerd statues and busts 140 Relocating monuments 144 Dealing with soviet-era statues in post-communist societies 146 The concept of statue parks in post-apartheid South Africa 152 Re-interpretation 156 Case study: The Terrorism Memorial in Pretoria 158 Recasting personalities 160 Re-positioning the VTM 164 Conclusion 172 6 Defining national identity with heritage: The National Legacy Project 175 Foundation myth of the post-apartheid nation 176 The National Legacy Project: Constitutive phase 182 Portfolio of Legacy Projects and Consultation 187 Three priority legacy projects 192 Finalising the canon 196 Proposed New Legacy Projects 200 Conclusion 204 7 Freedom Park as national site of identification 209 Early conceptualisation 211 The symbolism of the site 214 Design and consultation 215 Site orientation and Isivivane 220 The Sikhumbuto and the Wall of Names 226 Designing an authentic African monument? 228 Inclusion/exclusion 230 Contestation and counter monuments 233 Who will visit Freedom Park? 237 Conclusion 239 8 Celebrating 'mothers of the nation': The Monument to the Women of South Africa in Pretoria 243 Introduction 243 Historical background of the 1956 Women's March 244 Nasionale Vrouemonument in Bloemfontein 247 Historical background of the Pretoria monument initiative 250 Countering the Vrouemonument 252 Inclusions/exclusions 255 Under-representation of women's contributions 259 Criteria for heroism 262 Commemorating remarkable women throughout the nation 263 Humility and other visual characteristics of women's memorials 269 Conclusion 272 9 Africanising the symbolic landscape: Post-apartheid monuments as 'critical response' 275 Introduction 275 The Battle of Blood River and its commemoration 278 Blood River museum initiative 280 Ncome's inclusion in the National Legacy Project 284 Ncome as a symbol of reconciliation 286 Ncome as response to Blood River 289 Museum exhibition 291 Ncome: Success or failure? 295 Multiple interpretations 296 Countering contested heritage 298 Monuments as critical response versus 'counter-monuments' 300 Imitating western models of commemoration 301 Some examples of monuments as critical response: battlefield memorials 307 Public statuary as critical response 310 Conclusion 315 10 Commodification, tourism and the need for visual markers 317 Introduction 317 Tourism, heritage and identity 318 Tourism as a lifeline for contested heritage 321 Spirit of eMakhosini: Intangible heritage and the need for visual markers 322 Nelson Mandela as a tourist attraction: Freedom Statue in Port Elizabeth 328 Other Mandela statue initiatives 333 Monuments and the symbolic reshaping of the urban environment 339 Statues and name changes: Tshwane 340 Conclusion 345 Conclusion 347 References 355 Table of post-apartheid monuments 387 Index 401
'Marschall, program director of Cultural and Heritage Tourism at the University of KwaZulu-Natal,
critically examines South Africa's official attempts to reshape its commemorative landscape in the
postapartheid era through projects such as the Hector Pieterson Memorial, Constitution Hill, the
Sharpeville Massacre Memorial, Freedom Park, and the National Women's Monument. According to
Marschall, what makes the effort to reconstitute the heritage sector unique "is the systematic,
self-conscious, deliberate, and methodical manner in which new monuments engage with the legacy of
the past." In particular, postapartheid heritage development has focused on the production of memorials
that symbolize the liberation struggle against apartheid, colonialism, and racism in general. Designed to
promote nation building and reconciliation, many of these projects, according to Marschall, have instead
exposed the political fractures in postapartheid society. Nonetheless, South Africa has largely avoided the
tendency to sanitize or romanticize its heritage and has instead made an earnest effort "to come to terms
with previously denied, neglected or shameful aspects of [its] past." Summing Up: Recommended.
Upper-division undergraduates and above'.
J. O. Gump, University of San Diego, Reviewed in 2010nov CHOICE.
'This book is an in-depth, masterful analysis and discussion of the landscape of memorialisation and commemoration in South Africa in the two decades since the end of Apartheid. For her analysis Marschall draws on a variety of sources including interviews and statements by government and heritage officials, marketing material, feedback from the public as well as the analysis of the symbolism and physical form of numerous South African monuments and memorials from both a local and international perspective. While much of this discussion has been presented in article form elsewhere, this book brings all aspects of the project together in a dense, multi-layered volume that addresses the political and socially contentious nature of South Africa's memory landscape as well as the potential that such memorialisation offers for nation-building and reconciliation'.
Natalie Swanepoel, University of South Africa, in 'African Studies Quarterly', Volume 13, Issue 3, Summer 2012
Under the aegis of the post-apartheid government, much emphasis has been placed on the transformation and democratisation of the heritage sector in South Africa since 1994. The emergent new landscape of memory relies heavily on commemorative monuments, memorials and statues aimed at reconciliation, nation-building and the creation of a shared public history. But not everyone identifies with these new symbolic markers and their associated interpretation of the past. Drawing on a number of theoretical perspectives, this book critically investigates the flourishing monument phenomenon in South-Africa, the political discourses that fuel it; its impact on identity formation, its potential benefits, and most importantly its ambivalences and contradictions.
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