Tag Archives: Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces

Will Mandela Fall, Too?

      No Comments on Will Mandela Fall, Too?

By Rachel Hatcher [This is the eight and final post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] Widespread student protests in 2015 and 2016 pushed the past into discussions about the South African present. #RhodesMustFall asked why a rapacious and racist mining magnate was still honored in the so-called Rainbow Nation. Why did his statue… Read more »

Unlearning history to combat racism?

      3 Comments on Unlearning history to combat racism?

By Rachel Hatcher [This is the seventh post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] South Africans must, declared South African Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Danny Titus, unlearn the names of the Dutch ships that landed in South Africa in the 17th century. He made this declaration during the Free State’s provincial launch of the Anti-Racism Network of South… Read more »

A luta continua: past, present, and future in South Africa’s Constitutional Court  

By Rachel Hatcher [This is the sixth post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] Located in the heart of the larger Johannesburg metropolitan area, South Africa’s Constitutional Court is the ingenious and deeply moving physical manifestation of what post-apartheid South Africa was supposed to be like. As renewed student protests demanding that #FeesMustFall and the militarized response to… Read more »

The building of which nation? Conflicting Narratives at the National Women’s Memorial and Anglo-Boer War Museum

By Rachel Hatcher [Editors note: This post was revised on March 1, 2017. This is the fifth post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] The Garden of Remembrance, renamed the Garden of Misremembrance in the previous post, was explicitly oriented toward “reconciliation and nation building through shared suffering.”  For this reason, the Garden also commemorated the thousands of… Read more »

Memorial Dissonance in the Garden of Remembrance

      2 Comments on Memorial Dissonance in the Garden of Remembrance

By Rachel Hatcher [Editors note: this post was revised on March 1, 2017. This is the fourth post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] The Garden of Remembrance at the National Women’s Memorial and Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein was inaugurated at the end of November 2015.  It is located in the the Free State (former independent Boer,… Read more »

The (im)possibility of raceless equality: blacks as workers and thieves in the Big Hole experience

By Rachel Hatcher [This is the third post in the Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces series.] South Africa and its universities have been working for over two decades to eliminate racism from their midst and become metaphoric rainbows of inclusion and equality. This project faces serious challenges from various quarters, some unexpected. Briefly imagine, if you will, growing up… Read more »

The Big Hole of Black Oblivion

      1 Comment on The Big Hole of Black Oblivion

By Rachel Hatcher [This is the second in a series of posts titled “Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces”] The Big Hole in Kimberley, in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, somehow manages to tower over the city in a way that is surprising for a big hole in the ground, which is precisely what the Big Hole… Read more »

Graffiti Is a Revolutionary Act at a South Africa University

By Rachel Hatcher [Originally published by teleSUR and the first post in a series titled “Learning and unlearning history in South Africa’s public spaces”] Students rewriting the history of South Africa on buildings and statues at the University of the Free State is an important act of restorative justice. In recent years, students in South Africa, Chile, Québec, and elsewhere,… Read more »