18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

The Memory Market

Rebranding the Ngqayi

Perpetuated Truth. Rakumakwe, MS. Unit 19. 2021.

Masego Shiloh Rakumakwe

MArch 2021

Unit Leader: Tuliza Sindi
Unit Tutor: Muhammad Dawjee
Unit Assistant: Lynette Breed

UNIT 19︎︎︎
The Act of Service: The Myth of Violence
The project explores how to create a world where the preservation of black men's sense of inferiority in racialised societies can be intercepted and their perceptions reoriented toward a valued self-definition.

From 18th century colonisation, the Dop System and the Aparthied Liquor Act of 1927 were some of the instated laws that prohibited black South Africans from selling alcohol, making their consumption of it controlled at the State level as a way to cement the notion that black people are intellectually inferior and without self-restraint. These legal restrictions inspired the emergence of illegal shebeens.

The work questions the ever-evolving role of this both crucial and contentious township typological cornerstone of the shebeen that continues to produce complex nuances; as an ongoing space of networking and organising, political activism, and as a source of social disintegration and violence (Hlalethwa 2018).

The project looks at Sheila’s shebeen in Alexandra Township, and reveals how corrosive drinking practices were scripted into the social practices of communities through the media portrayal of alcohol as a form of reward and consolation for black migrant labourers in particular (Unknown, 2014). The project inverts the practice of drinking in shebeens by rebranding the black men's memories as tradable currency in that space, to propose that black men once again own their own memories. This proposition repositions the socially significant shebeen space as a library; a repository of knowledge surrounding culture, identity, experience, community, and care.

Advertising, Inferiority, Escapism, Memories, Currency

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