18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

Tlotla E Se Nang Seriti, “Undignified Honour”

African Ways Of Commemorating as Means To Restore Dignity In The Memoralisation Of The Fallen Heroes And Heroines Of The Sharpeville Massacre

Lerato Moshane

MArch 2022

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

Landscapes of Memory

Examiner’s Choice: Prof Philip Christou
Examiner’s Choice: Ilze Wolff

My MDP tells the story of Sharpeville with the main highlight being the Sharpeville massacre and the lack of honour and dignity in how it has been officially commemorated by the state for the past 12 years.

Using visual narratives, I intend to reveal what has been the status of the Sharpeville massacre’s memory both in the shadows of the apartheid government and the new dispensation. To show how the omission of the community’s input in the establishment of what is supposed to be their memorial precinct, became a continued act to further strip them of their dignity, as it also led to the omission of their social values and norms.

  1. What led to the massacre?
  2. Who died on that day?
  3. Should they be commemorated, why and how?

The notion of SERITI “dignity” from a black South African perspective will be applied in answering these questions to give a sense of what is deemed honourable and dignified in the memoralisation of those who have passed by highlighting the significance of a life that is radiated by the ancestors who according to Vuyani Vellem, are the ‘shades ‘of life.

My MDP’s intention is therefore to give dignity to the dead using architecture: a creation of cultural sacred spaces within the heritage landscape, that will enable the practising of rituals as means for the restoration of these social values and norms within the community. So as to settle the spirits and in so doing, emancipate the community of Sharpeville, as these are fundamental for their  dignity.

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