18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

Memorising Communities from Top Location Through Masjids as Community Beacons

Aarifah Hassim

MArch 2022

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

Landscapes of Memory
My project is based on the spatial injustice of apartheid planning. The Group Areas Act of 1950 formed the legal basis for most of South Africa’s forced removals. My project focuses on the forced removals from Top Location.

Top Location in Vereeniging came about in 1914 and was a predominantly Black, Coloured and Indian community. Act 21 of 1950 apartheid legislation, led to all residents of Top Location being forcefully removed. Black people were moved to Sharpeville, Coloured people to Rustervaal and Indian people to Roshnee.

My project proposes to memorialise and heal the communities that were unjustly moved from their home due to apartheid spatial planning. It creates public space for these people to come together again and recollect their history.

These communities have started coming together through Islam. This can be seen through the first masjid that was built in Sharpeville in 2010. The second masjid is the masjid in Roshnee, built long the barrier of Roshnee, an outskirt of Rustervaal. The community of Roshnee and Rustervaal come together at this masjid.

My site of intervention is the buffer zone between Roshnee and Rustervaal. My proposal aims at physically breaking the buffer. My design is made up of a public space inside the buffer zone as well as walkways that create movement routes between the Roshnee and Rustervaal. The public space is formed by principles of Islamic gardens and Islamic buildings.

Forced removals, Islam, masjid, Breaking, buffer

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