The present is always filled with spectres of the past, which slip in and out of view. Burdened by complex colonial and apartheid inheritances, contemporary South Africa negotiates these spectres in a highly charged manner.
The archives that impose themselves on, or lend themselves to, such negotiations are the focus of our enquiry, as are the B-sides, the archives that are unrecognised, neglected, disavowed or subaltern inheritances. In a project that is at once historical and contemporary – and that resonates in global discussions of memory, trauma, social justice, imperialism, indigenous rights, and the practices of history – we pay attention to the remixes of the record, in the past and in the present.
Skotnes's Breath takes yours away
By Peter Anderson
Professor Pippa Skotnes’s commission for the newly transplanted Psychology Department is at once magisterial in its scholarship and a visual tour de force. Following the curatorial turn in much contemporary practice, Skotnes has made a work that is many and one. Her integration of several media and modes is not just technically dazzling, but works to suggest a good deal about the history of Psychology as a discipline. Read more...
Five hundred years online
The Archive & Public Culture Research Initiative has just launched the first phase of a promising new project, the Five Hundred Year Archive. This project builds on a resurgence of research interest in the history of Southern Africa in the five-hundred-year period before the advent of colonialism, manifest most notably in the recent work of the Five Hundred Year Initiative. (See, for example, its publications, Five Hundred Years Rediscovered: Southern African Precedents and Prospects, eds. A Esterhuysen, N Swanepoel, P Bonner, Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2008; and [Special Issue] ‘Rethinking South Africa’s Past: Essays on History and Archaeology’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 38(2) 2012.) Read more...
His Master's Voice at the MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund
By Anette Hoffmann
The exhibition, His Master’s Voice: Von Stimme und Sprache (Of Voice and Language), which runs from 23 March to 7 July 2013 at the MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund, is the second large show at German art institution in the past two years to focus on the human voice and privilege sound (in recordings and installations) as a medium in the otherwise visual space of the art gallery. Read more...
Forged in the crucible of social and political life
A recent special edition of the South African Historical Journal brings to life the shifting contexts and varied social imperatives out of which archives are initiated and sustained.
This just-published special focus on Archive put together by NRF Chair, Carolyn Hamilton, showcases five papers by Archive & Public Culture research associates. Read more...