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Self Archive

Matchbox House as a Library

Figure. Sedibe, N, Unit 13. 2021.
Figure. Sedibe, N, Unit 13. 2021.

Nana Sedibe

MArch 2021

Unit Leader: Claudia Morgado
Unit Tutor: Ruby Mungoshi
Unit Assistant: Azraa Gabru

UNIT 13︎︎︎
Second Nature | Shared Futures
“Townships tend to be zones of deprivation that can only ever be defined in a negative sense, in terms of what they do not possess.”
- Jacob Dlamini

My project looks at how the matchbox house, which was intended to diminish the lives of black people, became instead a site of resistance, economic emancipation, and a rich personal life. I challenge the facile accounts that nothing of value was produced within this fragmented architecture by disrupting the dominant narrative of dispossession and disempowerment associated with the matchbox.

I use my memories of my grandmother’s house, and those like it, as archives of alternative histories. By altering our view of the past and unsettling hegemonic ways of knowing associated with official histories and the library. This work learns from the work of South African artist Kisto Lynn Lelliott who puts “different modes of knowing next to each other, making space for the ones that have otherwise being diminished”, altering the past in order to “alter the future-presents that come out of them” (Lelliott: 2020).

The elements I investigate and alter are; relationships between the matchbox houses, the streetscape festivities, the fence typologies and the second street which is also dubbed a double up.

Matchbox, Nostalgia, Memory, Home, History, Imagination

Contact Nana Sedibe:

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