Statues and Monuments in The South African Imagination

Statues and Monuments in The South African Imagination 2016-10-27T13:46:58+00:00

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Chair: Dr Mathias Fubah Alubafi, Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa
Panellist: Dr Reason Beremauro, University of South Africa, South Africa
Panellist: Mrs Siphokazi Sambumbu, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Panellist: Mr Vuyani Gweki Booi, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Panellist: Miss Josephine Malala, University of South Africa, South Africa
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This session seeks to explore some of the key motivations behind the recent calls for the removal of historical statues and monuments in South Africa. In doing so, the session aims to critically examine post-apartheid narratives of heritage preservation and memorialization of history.

The session will do this through discussions around:

  • the meanings and significance of historical statues and monuments
  • statues and monuments in the politics and for the publics of South Africa
  • Decolonising aesthetics
  • Decolonising statues and monuments in Africa/South Africa

Why participants should attend this session?

  • The session presents a unique opportunity to contribute to the on-going conversation about colonial and apartheid statues and monuments
  • Opportunity to understand the ‘cracks’ associated with colonial and apartheid statues and monuments
  • Opportunity to understand the motivations behind the critique and removal/defacement of, yet, construction of similar statues and monuments in honour of struggle heroes and heroines
  • Opportunity to collectively determine/propose the direction that such statues and monuments may take in the new dispensation

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alubafiDr Mathias Fubah Alubafi
Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa
Chair

Dr Mathias Fubah Alubafi is a Senior Research Specialist in the Human and Social Development Research Programme (HSD) at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). He holds a PhD in History of Art (specializing in traditional African art) from the University of Reading, UK, and an MA in Heritage Studies from Wits University. A native of Cameroon’s western Grassfields, Fubah has implemented projects on art and museums in the region since 2004. His current research focuses on Art, museums, cultural heritage and resistance to colonial heritage in Africa and South Africa. Before joining the HSRC in 2014, Fubah held fellowships at the universities of the Witwatersrand, Cambridge, Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin and the Max Planck Institute in Florence, Italy. He is the principal investigator for the project: The Statues/Monuments South Africans Want: Documenting and Assessing the Impact of Symbols in a Transformative – and a reviewer for the Cambridge Journal online, African Studies Review as well as the UNISA Journal, Imbizo: International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies.
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beremauroDr Reason Beremauro
University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa
Panellist

Dr Reason Beremauro is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI), UNISA. Reason holds a PhD in Anthropology attained from the University of the Witwatersrand where he was affiliated to the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER). His PhD research was conducted at the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg where he examined the everyday life of Zimbabwean migrants and the interventions of humanitarian organisations that assisted these individuals. Reason’s research interests are in migration, gender, victimhood, medical anthropology and urban ethnography.
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sambumbuMrs Siphokazi Sambumbu
University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Panellist

Mrs Siphokazi Sambumbu joined the University of the Western Cape as a History Lecturer in 2009. She holds a BA in Education from the University of Transkei, a Post-graduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies (Cum Laude) and a Masters in Public and Visual History (Cum Laude), both from the University of the Western Cape. Siphokazi taught history in South African high schools for eleven years and was awarded the National Albert Luthuli Best Oral History Teacher prize in 2006. As a heritage practitioner, Siphokazi served as Resource Centre Manager and Visiting Scholars Programme Coordinator for Robben Island Museum. As a public historian, she has been a member of Advisory Boards and Trusts of various public institutions, including Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum, Centre for Popular Memory and Western Cape Archives and Records Service. Her research interests include public memory and representations and post-apartheid heritage practice. She has also published on the politics of memory and public representations of Ndabeni, a place near Maitland in Cape Town. Siphokazi’s recent awards include research fellowships granted by the University of Michigan and Harvard University. She is currently completing on a PhD dissertation titled, ‘Making heritage in post-apartheid South Africa: agencies, museums and sites’.
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booiMr Vuyani Gweki Booi
University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Panellist

Mr Vuyani Gweki Booi holds a BA and BA (Hons) (Sociology) from the University of Fort Hare, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma (Heritage Studies), and an MA in Visual and Public History from the University of Western Cape respectively. Mr Vuyani Booi is currently a Senior Curator and Acting Director of the National Heritage and Cultural Studies Centre (NAHECS) at University of Fort Hare, and a lecturer in Archives and Records Management at the same institution. He is also a PhD candidate at the same institution. Besides his current position, Mr Vuyani is a Board member of the Nelson Mandela Museum Council and the University of Fort Hare Council. He is also is chairperson of NEHAWU at University of Fort Hare and currently serves as a member of ANC-UFH Liberation Archives Committee chaired by Ms Baleka Mbete. He is also a chairperson of Eastern Cape Oral History Association. Mr Vuyani has participated in conferences both in South Africa and abroad. Among some of his publications are Selected Black Artists (1941-1992) Homage to Black Artists, (2003) and Early African Modern Intellectuals, edited by Dr Mcebisi Ndleytana. He has also undertaken curatorial training at British Museum in England.
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malalaMiss Josephine Malala
University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa
Panellist

Ms Josephine Malala is currently a Lecturer of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of South Africa (UNISA). She holds a BA Hons in Anthropology from Wits University in Johannesburg and a Masters in Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation from Sussex University, United Kingdom. Malala joined UNISA in 2015 as a lecturer of Anthropology from working as a researcher for various organizations and independently. She previously got involved in research programmes for organisations such as the Sociology of Work Programme (SWOP) at Wits University, the Medical Research Company, Heartlines Mass Media Project and Soul City Health and Development Institute among others. Her areas of interest are Social Change and Transformation, Development, Decoloniality. Malala has co-authored a paper published in the Social Science and Medicine (53) 2001, titled ‘Condom Use, Power and HIV/AIDS risk: Sex workers bargain for survival in Hillbrow / Joubert Park / Berea, Johannesburg’.
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