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Marta Montanini

  • Dottorato: 29° ciclo
  • Matricola: 790978

Tesi di dottorato

Titolo: Redenzione forzata. Sviluppo, post-apartheid e pratiche di appropriazione a Red Location

Title: Forced Redemption. Development, Ownership Practices and Post-Apartheid in Red Location, South Africa

Tutor: Irene Bono

 

This thesis is based on an extensive fieldwork conducted in Red Location, a small township

located in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. The fieldwork has been carried

out on the premises of the Red Location Museum and Cultural Precinct (RLMCP), an ambitious

project of urban renewal, heritage-making and development, publicly funded.

The project, started in 1998 and not yet completed, consisted in the creation of a museum of the Struggle (completed in 2006),

an art gallery and a library (completed in 2011), and other buildings

devoted to culture and education, such as theatre rooms, concert halls and an art school.

 

Through the years, many waves of protests, held by township residents, hampered the

construction works. The protests concerned different issues: the huge amount of money spent

on the project instead of being devoted to social housing uplift, the museum contents and

the representation of the location, the missed opportunities of job creation. In 2013,

during the most recent demonstration, a group of residents seized the buildings that had been

already completed and forced the museum to close.

 

In this thesis the RLMCP is considered as a space of intersection where is possible to observe

the connections between development policies, post-apartheid policies, neoliberal policies

and post-Washington consensus policies, but also between heritage-making practices, history

commodification processes and the creation of a national community.

Based on the observation and analysis of different processes ongoing on the RLMCP site and

its premises, the purpose of this thesis is to discuss and reshape the notion of ownership and

appropriation both in development projects and as heuristic tools.

Attività di ricerca

Postcolonial studies, development theories, urban studies, everyday politics in Northern Africa and Sub-saharan Africa.

 

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