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18:00  SAST

Memorialising The Grotesque

Exposing the Tragic Realities of Black Township Schools in the Sowetan Setting, During and Post-apartheid

Zandile Makhubele

BArch Hons 2022

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

Landscapes of Memory
My project, Memorialising the Grotesque, questions and investigates how the youth of June 16 were commemorated in the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum. I intend to demonstrate how township schools and educational settings remain grotesque in post-apartheid South Africa while, the Hector Pieterson Memorial, which is intended to honour and commemorate the youth of June 16, nevertheless, performs the exact opposite by concealing or failing to share the complete narrative of the past and present.

The June 16 Soweto Uprising was a series of student-led protests against the introduction of Afrikaans as a language of instruction and educational equality. Apart from the fact that Afrikaans is no longer the required language of teaching, not much has changed. Hence, the protest's objectives were only partially met. Using comparative research methods, I examined the differences between two types of government-funded schools, one a township school and the other a model C school.

The South African government has chosen to conceal the conditions in which these schools exist in order to escape scrutiny from the media and general public. The goal is to use this aesthetically pleasing building, the Hector Pieterson Memorial, to bring awareness to this hidden grotesqueness with the aid of VR and AR tools, as a form of protest in the hopes to spark discussions on how to improve township schools in South Africa and how urgently these changes need to be made.

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