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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Building a Postcolonial Archive? Gender, Collective Memory and Citizenship in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Author:McEwan, Cheryl
Year:2003
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Volume:29
Issue:3
Period:September
Pages:739-757
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:future
memory
gender relations
racism
black women
historiography
archives
History and Exploration
Women's Issues
Politics and Government
nationalism
Bibliography/Research
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Historical/Biographical
Education and Training
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3557440
Abstract:Since the ending of apartheid, the State, political parties, civil society and ordinary people in South Africa have attempted to deal with the traumatic legacies of the past to engender a common sense of nationhood. This paper examines this process of dealing with the past through the theoretical lens of postcolonialism, focusing, in particular, on attempts to establish historical truth and collective memory for black women, who have often been most marginalized by colonialism and apartheid and excluded from dominant accounts of history. It argues that if black women are denied a presence and agency in the construction of collective memory, their belonging and citizenship is consequently mediated in the process of nationbuilding. It considers how exclusionary and discriminating patterns are reproduced through attempts to construct national memory archives, focusing on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It then explores the measures being taken to create a more inclusive process of restoring collective memory. In particular, it discusses the importance and possibilities of creating a postcolonial archive, where the voices and texts of historically marginalized people can be incorporated into national projects of remembering and notions of belonging. The paper focuses specifically on recent attempts to archive black women's pictorial and written testimony in a memory cloths programme. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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