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Archaeology dreaming - Post-apartheid urban imaginaries and the bones of the Prestwich Street dead

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This article is concerned with the materiality of memory and identity in the post-colony, as mediated by the corporeal remains of the colonial underelasses themselves. Prestwich Street is in a rapidly gentrifying part,of Cape Town, close to the Waterfront, the city's glitzy international zone. The accidental discovery of an early colonial burial a site in Prestwich Street in-the course of construction activities in May 2003,, and its subsequent exhumation, became the, occasion of a fiercely contested public campaign: This pitted pro-exhumation heritage managers; archaeologists and property developers against an :: alliance of community activists, spiritual leaders and First Nations representatives. The materiality of the :site and its remains became a key: point of, focus for the working out of a range of forces and interests in post-apartheid society, including the buried, legacies of slavery and. colonialism in the city, the; memory of apartheid forced removals, and post-apartheid struggles over restitution and representation: I argue that, even as the heightened political contexts of the. events around Prestwich Street significantly determine the shape and nature of an emergent post-apartheid public sphere (on the one hand), on the other hand, its chasing estemological and ontological concerns challenge us to rethink and reformulate core disciplinary practices and guiding ideas. Are the remains of the Prestwich Street dead artefacts? Or are they ancestors? And under what conditions might they be both of these things?

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Social Archaeology
Vol/bind7
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)3-28
Antal sider26
ISSN1469-6053
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2007

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