Invisible Cities: A Re-membering

Shiloh (Masego) Rakumakwe

M1

Parish Priests:

Tuliza Sindi, Muhammad Dawjee

Parish:

19 - The Act of Service

The project explores the absence of content reflecting black identity and experience within recommended reference literature in departments of architecture in South Africa; a country made up of over 80 percent black citizens. S. Bazana and O. Mogosti’s article on transformation in higher education states that “Studies have proven that institutional cultures in historically white universities alienate and exclude black students’ identities. These students’ sense of social identity, which includes culture, heritage, language, and traditions, and consequently self-esteem and self-concept, is altered in these institutions.” (2017:2)

The project approaches architecture as a tool of profiling that polices belonging by revealing the continued negation of belonging for black born-frees within architectural institutions due to their absencing from curricula.

The project takes the form of a lexicon, in direct response to a seminal prescribed first year reference book for several schools of architecture in SA. The book, ‘Visual Lexicon of the South African Dwelling’, compiled by University of Pretoria lecturer Roger C. Fischer, is the author’s site of intervention. The proposed lexicon presences the relationship that black South Africans have to place, space and narrative by providing a language for the conditions of ‘blackness’ that continue to be erased and/or absenced.

Drill: Tracing sis’Noma’s story. Rakumakwe, SM. Unit 19. 2020.

 
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