18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

Mouseion of Code-Switching

Subverting Social Constructs

Ané Botha

MArch 2022

Unit Leader: Craig McClenaghan
Unit Tutor: Ruby Mungoshi
Unit Assistant: Azraa Gabru

Phantom Cartographies
Nearly three decades into the ‘post-apartheid’ era, South Africa is still grappling with the legacy of a deeply entrenched system of categorisation. As a white woman, my interests are rooted in questions about whiteness, our relationship with ‘other races’ and the hierarchies that that are prevalent in our post-apartheid society. Today there exist unspoken, veiled occurrences that racialise our country.

Whiteness is investigated through mapping code-switching in different spaces. Code-switching, as a performance of race, is a means of elevating your social standing, wielding power, a survival tactic, or appropriate behaviour. It speaks of the spaces we occupy, the audiences of those spaces and who we are as a result in those spaces.

W.E.B Du Bois’s double consciousness theory looks at nationality and race. It is about people of colour, a marginalised group, having to constantly adapt and act differently in different spaces. Richard Dyer explains that whiteness is able to operate in a vacuum and does not immerse itself in the everydayness of the marginalised.

The Mouseion of Code-Switching constructs cartographies of the privilege white people have in current South Africa. This work is important as we occupy the space of post-apartheid where there are remnants and consequences of the past still lurking among us.

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