Ghost in my town: Kuruman Centre for Oral History and Cultural Development

Maape, Sechaba
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In my thesis I wish to illustrate the relationship between myth, architecture and landscape. In South Africa, particularly in small towns or ‘dorpies’, places1 are often associated to some kind of metaphysical phenomena which is usually represented through spoken word as either mythic tales or oral history (often being merged into one). The inseparable relationship between the place and its story has allowed for the preservation of knowledge and information about people and their cultures despite the legacy of an un-inclusive South African Historiography. We find that in the present day South Africa the stories of a place can often be the only way of bridging historical ‘gaps’, and becomes essential when dealing with cultural identity and origin. I begin my thesis by discussing the relationship between place (architecture and landscape) and myth (the story).This is followed by a visual essay, in which my home town Kuruman becomes a way of discovering more about places and their associated narrative. This is done through relating a few stories told by members of the community to specific sacred places in the landscape. The visual essay leads to my choice of site and ultimately to the development of the Kuruman centre for Oral history and cultural development.