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    Mapping and excavating spectral traces in post-apartheid Cape Town

    Jonker, Julian and Till, Karen E. (2009) Mapping and excavating spectral traces in post-apartheid Cape Town. Memory Studies, 2 (3). pp. 303-335. ISSN 1750-6980

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    This article explores how spectral traces at places marked by acts of violence and injustice allow residents to come into contact with past and future inhabitants of the postcolonial city. We examine controversies surrounding Prestwich Place, Cape Town, an informal burial ground for colonial underclasses that was unearthed when construction began for an upscale ‘New York-style’ apartment and office complex. The human remains that emerged embodied a past that exceeded national narrations of public memory and presented this past as an object of concern for private capital and activists. Rather than offer a biography of the site, we develop two concepts, memorial cartographies and haunted archaeologies, that represent terrains not visible on Cartesian mappings. We understand these narrative strategies as creative acts that honour those who have gone before; both practices encourage us to listen as witnesses to geographies of loss that continue to structure contemporary urbanisms.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: District Six; haunted archaeologies; memorial cartographies; post-apartheid Cape Town; postcolonial cities; Prestwich Place; spectral traces;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 9021
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Karen Till
    Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 15:00
    Journal or Publication Title: Memory Studies
    Publisher: Sage Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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