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Subverted Narratives

The Narration of Watropolis

Camissa: A tale of NOT SO SWEET waters. . Kubayi, T. Unit 19. 2021.

Tshwanelo Kubayi

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 work explores the social violence surrounding black women in spaces of servitude that organise their social currency within modern and segregated society. Violence against domesticated black women started from the indoctrination of the washerwoman, and was maintained through modern day servants’ quarters, where she is restricted to always be of service. Through this  framework of spatial practice, the work defines architecture as a tool that perpetuates a social classification that subordinates black women.

The research grounds itself within American author Anna Julia Cooper’s ‘triple consciousness’ theory surrounding race, gender and class constructs that render black women invisible through ritual programming (Staton-Taiwo, 2004). The site of interest is the Oranjezicht suburb of Cape Town, along the Camissa streams where the myth of Mami Wata resides. The work proposes a water city that aims to eradicate the narrative of the ‘domesticated’ black woman by proposing architecture that demolishes the current Oranjezicht suburb to establish new realities and social relationships.

The proposition begins at the mythical scale of 1:100,000 with a focus on the narrative of Mami Wata, and then moves to the scale of 1:5,000 as an urban design framework, and to the scale of detailing, to focus particularly on the domestic servant as a custodian of Wata.

Black Woman, Black Womanhood, Mami Wata, Social Currency, Triple Consciousness, Domestication, Subordination, Servants' Quarters, Rituals, Water

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