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Janie Swanepoel

In 2010, I completed my Honours degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town. Anthropology is about trying to make sense of human life, and it is in this endeavour that the discipline has taught me most about my own life. It has broadened my mind and opened new channels for understanding the conditions and meanings of social life. With this discipline, I am able to weave between theory and mundane daily practices of human life. I was born into an Afrikaans home in the Free State and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Stellenbosch, where I worked as the arts and entertainment editor of Die Matie student newspaper. I have also studied Social Anthropology at an international level. It was a course in Urban Anthropology in the Netherlands that directed me to my research topic. I am fascinated by the relationship between spaces/places and people, especially in inner cities, which are developed by planners and politicians according to specific notions of heritage and history. This generates various responses from the people affected based on the ways in which their heritage and notions of the past coincide and differ from the official versions espoused by the City. While the City strongly presents its version of places and spaces, not much is known about how individuals are affected, mobilise, utilise and think about the past in relation to such places. With these ideas, and the related research I undertook, I completed my thesis in response to the Victoria Street Market in Durban's inner city, and more specifically a small Indian spice shop at the market.
SWNJAN008@uct.ac.za