Between colour lines : interrogating the category ‘coloured’ in depictions of District Six in the work of five South African artists

Cupido, Cameron Amelia (2018-03)

Thesis (MA(VA))--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Group Areas Act of 1950 radically affected coloured artists of the time, since it resulted in forced removals and the demolition of traditionally ‘coloured’ suburbs, and forced coloured people into mono-cultural suburbs with imposed identities not of their own choosing. This thesis seeks to uncover the complexities and heterogeneity of coloured identity and the effects apartheid ideologies and practices had on the personal narratives and cultural praxis of Lionel Davis, Albert Adams, George Hallett, Gavin Jantjes and Peter Clarke, who all emphasized the significance of District Six in their own articulations of colouredness. I propose that this problematic ascribed identity was at the root of most artworks produced by these artists and that their art helped them deal with their experiences within (and about) the space of District Six during apartheid. I argue that the political act of aggression by the apartheid state ironically formed the cornerstone of a new formation of coloured identity, that was shaped around political and cultural resistance. This thesis ultimately explores how these artists’ collective practices evoke both a strong association with and resistance to colouredness, as they come to terms with the trauma of their dislocation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Groepsgebiedewet van 1950 het bruin kunstenaars van die tyd ingrypend beïnvloed aangesien dit tot gedwonge verskuiwings en die sloping van tradisioneel ‘kleurling’ (‘coloured’) voorstede gelei het, en bruin mense in monokulturele voorstede ingedwing het met ’n voorgeskrewe identiteit wat nie hul eie keuse was nie. Hierdie tesis probeer die kompleksiteit en heterogeniteit van die bruin (‘coloured’) identiteit blootlê, sowel as die uitwerking wat apartheidsideologieë en -praktyke gehad het op die persoonlike narratief en kulturele praksis van Lionel Davis, Albert Adams, George Hallett, Gavin Jantjes en Peter Clarke wat almal die belangrikheid van Distrik Ses in hul eie artikulasie van bruin wees beklemtoon. Ek doen aan die hand dat hierdie problematies toegeskrewe identiteit die meeste van hierdie kunstenaars se kunswerke ten grondslag lê, en dat hul kuns hulle gehelp het om hulle ervaringe binne (en omtrent) die ruimte van Distrik Ses tydens apartheid te verwerk. Ek argumenteer dat die politieke daad van aggressie deur die apartheidsregering ironies genoeg die hoeksteen van die ontstaan van ’n nuwe bruin identiteit gevorm het, wat rondom politieke en kulturele weerstand gestalte aangeneem het. Hierdie tesis ondersoek oplaas hoe die kollektiewe praktyk van hierdie kunstenaars sowel ’n sterk assosiasie met as weerstand teen bruin wees oproep, terwyl hulle hul berus in die trauma van hulle verplasing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103452
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