Space and identity in rebellion: Power, target, resource

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Date
1999-05-24
Authors
Bozzoli, Belinda
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Abstract
This paper explores the relationships between space, power and rebellion in one extremely poor and spatially distinct South African township, called Alexandra, in Johannesburg. Here, remarkably, during the mid-1980s a rebellion took place whose character was so strikingly "spatial" that it provides a case study for the consideration of the issue of the relationships between space and power more broadly. The case is examined in several phases, which together, it is suggested, may provide a conceptual framework through which "space, identity and rebellion" can be better understood. The broad power of the dominant forces in South Africa during the period of "high apartheid" is explored, and its spatial manifestations demonstrated. Then the paper examines the ways in which their resulting spatial surroundings and arrangements came to be thought of as "normal" by the inhabitants of this township and what this meant. This is followed by a brief examination of the ways in which apartheid's power was weakened in the townships during the 1970s and early 1980s. A study of the actual rebellion, which took place during 1985-86, then follows.
Description
African Studies Seminar series. Paper presented 24 May, 1999
Keywords
Apartheid. 20th century. History. South Africa , History. 20th century. South Africa
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