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FB-55046-10
Selective Silencing and the Shaping of Memory in Post-Apartheid South African Visual Culture
Kimberly Miller, Wheaton College

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FB-55046-10

Selective Silence and the Shaping of Memory in Post-Apartheid Visual Culture: The Case of the Monument to the Women of South Africa (Article)
Title: Selective Silence and the Shaping of Memory in Post-Apartheid Visual Culture: The Case of the Monument to the Women of South Africa
Author: Kim Miller
Abstract: This paper focuses on a particular event in South African history and the ways in which the event is memorialized and remembered in post-apartheid South Africa. In her book Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa, Annie Coombes remarks, “Women’s vital role in the overthrow of the apartheid state has been sorely neglected in favor of a more monolithic representation of the liberation movement” (107). In this paper I consider Coombes’ claim in relation to one specific attempt at public memorial after apartheid: the Monument to the Women of South Africa located at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. As the only commemorative site dedicated entirely to women’s apartheid-era political efforts, the Monument to the Women of South Africa is of vital importance to the memory of women’s role in the struggle. And yet a tension exists between the monument’s presence as a feminist site, and its disappearance from public view: the Monument has essentially been invisible to the public for most of its existence, due in part to the inaccessibility of the Union Buildings. The Monument’s invisibility not only trivializes the political significance of the Women’s March, but is also a distressing act of post-apartheid erasure of women’s political agency. I argue that when one considers this alongside the more widespread exclusion of women in post-apartheid commemorative sites, this not only has implications for the telling of history, but may very well affect women’s ability to in Cynthia Enloe’s words, “sustain an authentic political life in post-war periods” (71).
Year: 2011
Primary URL: http://www.worldcat.org/title/selective-silence-and-the-shaping-of-memory-in-post-apartheid-visual-culture-the-case-of-the-monument-to-the-women-of-south-africa/oclc/741302165&referer=brief_results
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: South African Historical Journal
Publisher: Taylor & Francis


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