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Falling Monuments, Reluctant Ruins

The Persistence of the Past in the Architecture of Apartheid

Hilton Judin (editor) Hilton Judin (author)
Faeeza Ballim (author)
Nnamdi Elleh (author)
Sally Gaule (author)
Kelly Gillespie (author)
Ali Khangela Hlongwane (author)
Tara Weber (author)
Eric Itzkin (author)
Arianna Lissoni (author)

ISBN: 9781776146673

Publication Date: Jun 2021

Format: Paperback

Explores how, in the era of decolonisation, post-apartheid South Africa reckons with its past in order to shape its future. Architects, historians, artists, social anthropologists and urban planners seek answers in this book to complex and unsettling questions around heritage, ruins and remembrance.
£27.50

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  • More Information
  • Table of Contents
  • Author Biography
  • Customer Reviews
Falling Monuments, Reluctant Ruins: The Persistence of the Past in the Architecture of Apartheid interrogates how, in the era of decolonisation, post-apartheid South Africa reckons with its past in order to shape its future. Architects, historians, artists, social anthropologists and urban planners  seek answers in this book to complex and unsettling questions around heritage, ruins and remembrance. What do we do with hollow memorials and political architectural remnants? Which should remain, which forgotten, and which dismantled? Are these vacant buildings, cemeteries, statues, and derelict grounds able to serve as inspiration in the fight against enduring racism and social neglect? Should they become exemplary as spaces for restitution and justice? The contributors examine the influence of public memory, planning and activism on such anguished places of oppression, resistance and defiance. Their focus on visible markers in the landscape to interrogate our past will make readers reconsider these spaces, looking at their landscape and history anew.

Through a series of 14 empirically grounded chapters and 48 images, the contributors seek to understand how architecture contests or subverts these persistent conditions in order to promote social justice, land reclamation and urban rehabilitation. The decades following the dismantling of apartheid are surveyed in light of contemporary heritage projects, where building ruins and abandoned spaces are challenged and renegotiated across the country to become sites of protest, inspiration and anger.

This ground-breaking collection is an important resource for professionals, academics and activists working in South Africa today.
Illustrations 50 illustrations
Pages 336
Dimensions 234 x 156
Date Published 30 Jun 2021
Publisher Wits University Press
Subject/s Architecture   History   Social & cultural history   National liberation & independence, post-colonialism   Theory of architecture   History of architecture  
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Figures
  • Foreword - Muchaparara Musemwa
  • Introduction - Hilton Judin
  • Part One: Lands
  • Chapter 1 Land Dispossession and the Ghosts of the Medupi Power Station - Faeeza Ballim
  • Chapter 2 A Community Journey: Return to Juliwe Cemetery in Roodepoort, Johannesburg - Eric Itzkin
  • Chapter 3 Public Memory and Transformation at Constitution Hill and Gandhi Square in Johannesburg - Temba John Dawson Middelmann
  • Chapter 4 Ejaradini: Notes Towards Modelling Black Gardens as a Response to the Coloniality of Museums - MADEYOULOOK
  • Part Two: Buildings
  • Chapter 5 Johannesburg Central Police Station and the Photograph as Evidence - Sally Gaule
  • Chapter 6 The Persistence of Robben Island: Abolition and the Prison Museum - Kelly Gillespie
  • Chapter 7 The Apartheid Pass Office in Johannesburg and a Heritage of Destruction - Hilton Judin
  • Chapter 8 Indian Trading, Art Deco Buildings and Urban Modernity in a Segregated Town: Jubilee House in Krugersdorp - Arianna Lissoni and Roshan Dadoo
  • Chapter 9 An Uncertain Heritage and Resistance: Transforming the Drill Hall in Johannesburg - Barbara Morovich and Pauline Guinard
  • Part Three: Statues, as Monuments
  • Chapter 10 Creating Spaces of Memorialisation: New Delville Wood (France) and SS Mendi (South Africa) - Yasmin Mayat and Brendan Hart
  • Chapter 11 Re-historicising Credo Mutwa's Kwa Khaya Lendaba Cultural Village in Soweto - Ali Khangela Hlongwane and Tara Weber
  • Chapter 12 Facing (Down) the Coloniser? The Mandela Statue at Cape Town's City Hall - Cynthia Kros
  • Chapter 13 ‘Where's Our Monument?' Commemorating Indian Indentured Labour in South Africa -Goolam Vahed
  • Chapter 14 Decolonisation, Monuments, and a New Architectural Language - Nnamdi Elleh
  • Contributors
  • Index
Hilton Judin is an architect and director of postgraduate architecture in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Faeeza Ballim is a senior lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Johannesburg.

Nnamdi Elleh is the head of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and was professor of architecture at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, from 2002 to 2017.

Sally Gaule is a photographer, curator and lecturer in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Kelly Gillespie is a political and legal anthropologist with a research focus on criminal justice in South Africa.

Khangela Hlongwane is a researcher in the History Workshop at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Tara Weber works as registrar at the Johannesburg Art Gallery where she has curated a number of exhibitions.



Eric Itzkin is an official at the Directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage for the City of Johannesburg and deputy director of Immovable Heritage.

Arianna Lissoni is a researcher in the History Workshop at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and an editor of the South African Historical Journal.

Roshan Dadoo has worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs (now DIRCO) and as political counsellor at the South African Embassy in Algiers. She later worked as a regional advocacy officer and director of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA).

MADEYOULOOK is a Johannesburg-based, interdisciplinary artist collaboration between Nare Mokgotho and Molemo Moiloa. Their works often reference everyday innovations - aspects of inner-city life that find simple solutions to ordinary challenges.

Yasmin Mayat is a lecturer at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, as well as co-founder and principal of the award-winning Mayat Hart Architects.

Brendan Hart is a lecturer at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, as well as co-founder and principal of the award-winning Mayat Hart Architects.

Temba Middelmann is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies (CUBES), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Barbara Morovich is an associate professor in anthropology at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Strasbourg, France, a member of the research unit AMUP, and president of the French Anthropological Association.

Pauline Guinard is an associate professor in geography at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and a member of two research units, UMR LAVUE-Mosaïques and UMR IHMC.

Muchaparara Musemwa is an associate professor of history and head of the School of Social Sciences in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Goolam Vahed is a professor in the Department of History at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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