18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

(Im)Migrant City

Re-imagining the Toxic Experience of Migrants in Kerk Street, Johannesburg

(Im)migrant City. Masilela, T. Unit 15X. 2021.
(Im)migrant City. Masilela, T. Unit 15X. 2021.

Tsaukani Masilela

MArch 2021

Unit Leader: Dr Finzi Saidi
Unit Leader: Jabu Makhubu
Unit Tutor: Dickson Adu-Agyei
Unit Tutor: Mathebe Aphane
Unit Assistant: Nomalanga Mahlangu

UNIT 15X︎︎︎
Toxic [Urban] Landscapes
South Africa attracts migrants because of its reputation as a free, democratic, and developing country. South Africa has long been considered a hub of employment for migrant workers lured by the diamond and gold industries. As attractive as South Africa appears it carries the veil of a superiority complex and the culture of violence targeted at black immigrants. This culture of violence can be argued is due to South Africa’s violent and inhumane apartheid history which brewed intolerance amongst people of different ethnic backgrounds.  

This Major Design Project reveals the toxic experiences of migrants in Johannesburg, adding to the existing spatial dialogue around the toxic relationship between South Africans and migrants. I look at toxicity from the definition used in “Toxic Landscapes” by Haeden Stewart (2017) who is a professor in the department of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts. Toxicity in this proposal focuses on the ways shared materials, interests and harms that ‘objectively’ bind communities and how these community ties are identified and become meaningful as these materials, harms and interests become visible (Stewart: 2017). This proposal highlights that as a migrant, whether you come into South Africa legally or illegally, you will experience xenophobia in some form. The project acknowledges that some migrants are protected by class from the experiences poorer migrants might experience. Class and social standing subjects migrants to the advantages and disadvantages they might face as a migrant in South Africa. This emphasises that there is an issue of migrants experiencing indignity in South Africa.

Toxicity, Immigrant, Spatial, Xenophobia

Contact Tsaukani Masilela:

︎ ︎ ︎ 

Copyright © 2022 Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. All Rights Reserved.