18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

A Forgotten Pillar

Reviving the Solomon Mahlangu Square and other Heritage Sites in Mamelodi as a way of Enhancing Public Memory

Jessica Ntale

BArch Hons 2022

Unit Leader: Dr. Finzi Saidi
Unit Leader: Mathebe Aphane
Unit Tutor: Bonolo Masango
Unit Tutor: Nomalanga Mahlangu

Landscapes of Memory

Best Student in Professional Practice

My project investigates how to revive a central memorial site and other sites which contextualise the memory of Solomon Mahlangu in Mamelodi in Pretoria. Mahlangu was a South African MK soldier who was hanged by the apartheid government in 1979 after a controversial verdict found him guilty of murder by common intent.

I begin by asking if monuments themselves are an appropriate way to celebrate memory especially within a township or whether it is simply a borrowed idea from colonialists.

For my methodology and representational methods, I use Catherine Dee’s art as enquiry in the form of surrealist drawings and ‘visual narratives’ through poetry to investigate the sites which include Freedom Square, the house, school, cemetery and post office. The use of surrealism was inspired by my own personal memory which was a play on scale in my grandparents’ dining room and the use of poetry was inspired by Solomon Mahlangu’s poetic final speech.

Throughout the project, I use surrealist imagery and poetry to initially describe my experience on the site, and then tell the story of Solomon Mahlangu on the different sites. I further describe my experience on these points of interest. I later deconstruct these pieces and use them as a basis to re-imagine a new experience and a new addition to the landscape in hopes to revive public memory within the township of Mamelodi.

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