Kaaps : exploring the power of language as lived experience and its formative role in knowledge production and self-understanding within an art gallery in the South African context

Ingham, Chelsea Robin (2020-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During my undergrad education in the Visual Arts Department at Stellenbosch University, as a working-class ‘coloured’1, I was immersed in a white Afrikaans culture for the first time. It allowed me to see that the Kaaps variety (a non-standard variety of Afrikaans) reflected a deep-rooted colonial and apartheid ideology around the ‘coloured’ experience and language purity. The effects of this are troublesome in a post-apartheid South Africa, with nonstandard varieties like Kaaps still being marginalised by race hierarchies. The nonrecognition of specific language use persists in influencing people’s ideas about themselves and others. This case study is an exploration of Kaaps speakers' lived experiences and attitudes toward the Kaaps variety through dialogue and visual representation within an art gallery. This was done in order to promote the potential educational capacity of the art gallery to renegotiate more just recognitions and representation of oppressed narratives and racial identities outside of the classroom setting. The theoretical perspectives of critical theory and pedagogy, indigenous knowledge, and social justice were employed to inform the research. As research design a case study was used. Probability sampling and qualitative methods were used to collect data. Individuals participated in the research through interactive dialogue and interview processes concerning lived experiences and attitudes toward Kaaps within a specific art gallery and exhibition space in Cape Town. To understand the data collected, inductive content analysis was used. It was found that participants recognised the education system as a significant roleplayer in how they perceived their racial identity through language, due to standard language ideology. Any association with the Kaaps variety is personal and practical and their preference for the ‘master’ language of English is for ‘successful’ social integration and economic or political reasons. The difficulty in properly integrating or acknowledging individuals' actual (multilingual) language in their learning environments, as well as recognition of cultural difference, was problematised by the participants and they responded with recommendations. Implications from the findings and conclusions involve integrating more creative and critical engagement around marginalised narratives. The context significance of non-standard varieties in the personal and social environments of learners must be more effectively considered, and must be engaged through identity texts for just recognition, representation, and dialogue. This implies that the art gallery’s educational capacity should be realised to renegotiate dominant ideology through critical processes of creativity that help better articulate the lived experiences of marginalised communities, as well as the potential to evoke responsive meanings for social justice.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tydens my voorgraadse opleiding in die Departement Visuele Kunste aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch, as 'n werkers-klas 'kleurling', was ek vir die eerste keer in 'n wit Afrikaanse kultuur gedompel. Dit het my toegelaat om te sien dat die Kaaps-verskeidenheid (‘n niestandaard verskeindenheid van Afrikaans) 'n diep gewortelde koloniale en apartheids ideologie rondom die 'kleurling' ervaring en taalsuiwerheid weerspieël. Die gevolge hiervan is bemoeilik in 'n post-apartheid Suid-Afrika, met nie-standaard variëteite soos Kaaps wat steeds deur ras hiërargieë gemarginaliseer word. Die nie-erkenning van spesifieke taal gebruik word voortgesit om mense se idees oor hulself en ander te beïnvloed. Hierdie gevallestudie is 'n ondersoek na Kaaps-sprekers se ervarings en houdings teenoor die verskeidenheid deur dialoog en visuele voorstelling binne 'n kunsgalery. Dit is gedoen om die potensiële opvoedkundige kapasiteit van die kunsgalery te bevorder, om meer regverdige erkenning en voorstelling van onderdrukte vertellings en rasse-identiteite buite die klaskamer te heronderhandel. Die teoretiese perspektiewe van kritiese teorie en pedagogie, inheemse kennis en sosiale geregtigheid is gebruik om die navorsing in te lig. As navorsings ontwerp is 'n gevallestudie gebruik. Waarskynlikheid steekproefneming en kwalitatiewe metodes is gebruik om data te versamel. Individu het deelgeneem aan die navorsing deur middel van interaktiewe dialoog en onderhoudsprosesse met betrekking tot ervarings en houdings teenoor Kaaps binne 'n spesifieke kunsgalery en uitstalruimte in Kaapstad,. Om die inligting wat versamel is te verstaan, is induktiewe inhoudsanalise gebruik. Daar is gevind dat die onderwys-stelsel 'n beduidende rol gespeel het op die manier waarop deelnemers hulle rasse-identiteit deur middel van taal beskou het, as gevolg van standaard taal ideologie. Enige assosiasie met die Kaaps-verskeidenheid is persoonlik en prakties, en hulle voorkeur vir die 'meester-taal’ van Engels is vir ‘suksesvolle’ sosiale integrasie en ekonomiese of politieke redes. Die moeite om die werklike (meertalige) taal van individie behoorlik te integreer, of te erken in hul leeromgewings, sowel as om kulturele verskil te erken, was geproblematiseer by die deelneemers en hulle het met aanbevelings geantwoord. Implikasies uit die bevindinge en gevolgtrekkings behels die integrasie van meer kreatiewe en kritiese betrokkenheid rondom gemarginaliseerde vertellings. Die konteks betekenis van nie-standaard variëteite in die persoonlike en sosiale omgewings van leerders moet meer effektief oorweeg word, deur identiteits-tekste, vir net erkenning, verteenwoordiging en dialoog. Dit impliseer dat die kunsgalery se opvoedingsvermoë moet gerealiseer word om die dominante ideologie te heronderhandel, deur kritiese prosesse van kreatiwiteit wat help om die geleefde ervarings van gemarginaliseerde gemeenskappe te verwoord, en die potensiële betekenis daarvan om te reageer vir sosiale geregtigheid.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108321
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