Post democratic South Africa: the surreal landscape, a critique on Black representation in media and television, with the desire to promote alternative Black realities

This research is a reflection and a commentary on the impact of colonialism, apartheid, and institutionalised racism has and has always had on Black identity. The research investigates earlier forms such as Christianity, missionaries and missionary schools in the 19th century, moving along to later strategies and tactics used under the apartheid regime, and putting the bulk of the research on the impact of television in its role in developing Black identities in a post-apartheid South Africa. With themes dealing with capitalistic ideals of success, white assimilation and the pressures of living in a modern society, we look at “is there a Black mode of-being-in-the-world?” – with an emphasis based on the comparisons between Black life and white life, as well as different kinds of Black living. These themes are all accompanied by in depth analyses and synopsises of the artworks that reflect these themes. An emphasis is put on the outcomes of these themes on myself as a Black person living in South Africa. Interviews and alternative sources for information take precedent as this research is an exercise in validating Black lived experiences as valid. The Surreal Landscape is the visual representation of the complexities and tensions surrounding traditions and culture, and the modern-day culture of contemporary capitalism and nationalism. This pursuance is largely spurred on by having to balance in-between these cultural paradigms, often simultaneously.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Fine Arts to the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, 2023
Black identity, Post Democratic South Africa, Stereotype