18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

The Museum of Phantom Freedoms

An Atlas of Resistance to Manipulative Political Powers

Ntokomalo Mzoneli

MArch 2022

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

Phantom Cartographies
A tinderbox of socio-economic and political turmoil finally exploded on the eighth of July triggering a week of riots and looting. Instigated by the ‘free Zuma’ protest, violent riots and civil unrest broke out in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. My site is the Umvoti toll-gate precinct on the N2 freeway, which was one of the targeted trade routes during the unrest. The aftermath of the unrest shows a shift in the infrastructure. Therefore, the proposition uses micro architecture interventions with the intent to make place for township economy within this government taxation system.

The Museum of Phantom Freedoms is a re-choreographing of public performances of resistance. By unveiling the role that infrastructure plays in the distorting of the black body in space both physically and its narrative. Montage is the methodology used to subvert political tactics of control (manifested spatially) in order to give autonomy to the black body in the township. The proposition sets the SA unrest as the first montage that exposes the fragmented (ugly) truth about our democracy. Film and photography are used to demonstrate the tactical manoeuvring of the ‘born free’ South African by political power. This is an atlas through which one navigates relationships between physical architectural spaces and their power to expose hidden political agendas. Ultimately, the primary question being interrogated through this design research is “how can architectural spaces provide empowering platforms (i.e. economic systems) for the tactical manoeuvre of vulnerable bodies to resist political manipulation, to gain freedom?”.

The proposal is presented as a speculative counter state. Developed through adapting and subverting the above political tactics of manipulation, to shift current infrastructure and create new architectural prototypes of resistance.

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