TOPOGRAPHICS OF RECREATIONAL
SPACES IN SOUTH AFRICA
‘A whole history remains to be written of spaces – which would at the same time be the history of powers’ -Michel Foucault.
This body of photographs examine the way in which the landscape was constructed to enforce separation, in the form of separate amenities, during the time of apartheid in South Africa.
Recreational spaces previously functioned as separate facilities for different racial groups on every level of society, including separate beaches, parks, walkways and swimming pools. By exploring this recreational landscape, constructed through political, social and psychological factors, a view can be obtained of how the physical structuring of the landscape has been altered to implement control and separation. It shows a level of social engineering, through a flawed political system of racial segregation, which has led to spaces of ambiguity, incongruity and ultimate failure.
The philosophy of segregation inherent in apartheid spatial structuring reflects elements of
control, fear and power: elements which today acts as evidence of a time and modus operandi of the creators of that system. This reveals the many ways in which ideology has shaped our landscape and comments on the fact that despite the failure of apartheid, the structuring of the landscape in South Africa has had a lasting affect, which as Okwui Enwezor said is ‘an entirely unique specimen of the historical failure of moral imagination’ in South Africa.