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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Putting Africa [Back] on the Map: The South African Parliamentary Millennium Project
Author:Stiebel, Lindy
Periodical:Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
African identity
Politics and Government
international relations
Abstract:Since 1994, a year which marked the start of a new era in South Africa, the construction of a new South African identity for its citizens has been high on the agenda. The South African Parliament, and particularly the majority ANC, has seen its role in nurturing this nascent identity as a leading one. The drive has been to renegotiate, imagine, and remap how South Africans see themselves. Using the idea of mapping, both in a physical and ideological sense of finding your place on the map/in the world, is a sophisticated postcolonial strategy to initiate this discussion among ordinary people. This paper describes and analyses one of Parliament's most visible projects intended to create a climate conducive to raising questions of identity and belonging, namely the Parliamentary Millennium Project (PMP), launched in 2002 by the then Speaker of Parliament, Frene Ginwala, together with Naledi Pandor, then Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. At the heart of this project is a collection of 800, mostly European, maps of Africa. The exhibition leaflet tells the public it is attempting 'to contrast European perspectives with indigenous ones, and through this to encourage an understanding of differing past experiences, to challenge perceived history, and to promote the recognition of shared South African identities'. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]