18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

The Sequestered Black Box

Re-imagining Sacredness Through the Elements of Theatre, Performance, Light and Movement

Fatima Deedat

BArch Hons 2022

Unit Leader: Dickson Adu-Agyei
Unit Tutor: Veronica Chipwanya
Unit Assistant: Demi Bridgland

Spectres of the Frame
This project is about the ruling regarding the black box - the television. In Islam there is a ruling about the harms and the manipulation which the black box portrays and we are warned against this.

Islam is about rules; we use these rules to go about living our daily lives; I therefore adapted the idea of rules when carrying out my investigation. I considered sacredness as a driving point for my investigation and combined the idea of rules and sacredness.

I then looked in to the rules of sacredness within certain case studies in my project such as: scripture, rituals, prayer, the mosque. This lead me to my site of interest which is the Houghton mosque.

The Houghton mosque situated in Johannesburg was a cause of interest for me, mainly because as a female that was the first mosque I ever visited for prayer on a Friday. Beside the architecture the experience and journey was one that had to be retold through the lens of an inquisitive and progressive architecture student.

The mosque then became the focus of rules of sacredness. This informed my proposition whereby I looked at the sacred rules of the mosque and elaborated on the separation of men and women in the mosque due to the hijab.

Reverting back to the idea of rules, it is essential for the female to make sure she is covered from head to toe when attending prayer at the mosque. She is given her own separate section within which she is compelled to be the observer meaning that she has to read behind the imam of the mosque. She is guarded by a screen which has the same meaning or resemblance to the hijab which means partition or screen. She should not be seen by the male, as it would be sinful for both him and her.

Considering these rules, I decided to test the idea of what if firstly the female was given even more importance by been placed in the courtyard but still within the confines of been covered up as though been covered by the hijab and what if their entrances were to be the same yet still with a partition between them? What type of manipulation of space would need to occur in order for this to take place? My beginnings of that began in a model by moving the space to the center and using the idea of the fabric of the hijab to create a flowing and moving structure that created drama and chaos in the sense of different mapped movement but still kept within the rules of separation by a screen. And through that structure the same amount of sacredness is achieved by revealing the presence yet at the same time concealing the modesty.

Extracting from the idea of the black box and cinematic elements, I looked at a way in which the sacredness is revealed and concealed at the same time by the use of frames that capture the sacredness and tell the story of what if…

Black box, Religion, Sacredness, Identity, Rules, Mosque, Rituals, Calligraphy, Scripture, Screen, Hijab, Movement, Frames

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