History after Apartheid
Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa
By (author) Annie E. Coombes
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History after Apartheid by Annie E. Coombes
Book DescriptionThe democratic election of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa in 1994 marked the demise of apartheid and the beginning of a new struggle to define the nation's past. "History After Apartheid" analyzes how, in the midst of the momentous shift to an inclusive democracy, South Africa's visual and material culture represented the past while at the same time contributing to the very process of social transformation. Considering attempts to invent and recover historical icons and narratives, art historian Annie E Coombes examines how strategies for embodying different models of historical knowledge and experience are negotiated in public culture - in monuments, museums and contemporary fine art. "History After Apartheid" explores the dilemmas posed by a wide range of visual and material culture including key South African heritage sites.How prominent should Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress be in the museum at the infamous political prison on Robben Island? How should the post-apartheid government deal with the Voortrekker Monument mythologizing the Boer Trek of 1838? Coombes highlights the contradictory investment in these sites among competing constituencies and the tensions involved in the rush to produce new histories for the 'new' South Africa. She reveals how artists and museum officials struggled to adequately represent painful and difficult histories ignored or disavowed under apartheid - including slavery, homelessness and the attempted destruction of KhoiSan hunter-gatherers. Describing how contemporary South African artists address historical memory and the ambiguities uncovered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Coombes illuminates a body of work dedicated to the struggle to simultaneously remember the past and move forward into the future.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780822330721
(229mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 24-Nov-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Annie E. Coombes
Managing Heritage, Making Peace, Hardback (November 2013)
Kenya stands at a crossroads in its history and heritage, as the nation celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of independence from Britain in 2013. The authors show how Kenya is facing a continuing crisis over nationhood, heritage, memory and identity, which must be resolved to achieve social cohesion and peace.
Rethinking Settler Colonialism, Paperback (May 2011)
Focuses on the long history of contact between indigenous peoples and the white colonial communities who settled in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. This title interrogates how histories of colonial settlement have been mythologised, narrated and embodied in public culture in the twentieth century.
Hybridity and its Discontents, Hardback (August 2000)
Hybridity and its Discontents explores the history and experience of 'hybridity' - the mixing of peoples and cultures - in countries such as America, Britain and South Africa.
Reinventing Africa, Paperback (May 1997)» View all books by Annie E. Coombes
British colonial expansion led to the display of many valuable African artifacts in Britain. This analysis covers the ways in which African peoples and their material culture were represented, the justifications for imperial expansion; and the effects this had on racial stereotyping.
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Author Biography - Annie E. Coombes
Annie E. Coombes teaches art history and cultural studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, where she is Director of Graduate Studies in the School of History of Art, Film, and Visual Media. She is the author of "Reinventing Africa: Museums, Material Culture, and Popular Imagination in Late Victorian and Edwardian England" and coeditor of "Hybridity and Its Discontents: Politics, Science, Culture."
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