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Wed, 22 Jun



Heritage Guest Lecture Acknowledging the land in architecture

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Heritage Guest Lecture  Acknowledging the land in architecture
Heritage Guest Lecture  Acknowledging the land in architecture

Time & Location

22 Jun 2022, 16:30


About the event

Dr Sechaba Maape, PhD is the founder of Afreetekture, an experimental design practice that aims at establishing a practice based on indigenous knowledge systems. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the Wits School of Architecture and Planning and focuses on teaching design and history of architecture through the lens of indigenous knowledge systems and decolonisation

Kristen Kornienko, PhD is the coordinator of the Global Studio at the  RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University in Canada and the co-founder of 1955 an experimental collaborative in Kliptown, Soweto South Africa. She is a creative practitioner of transformative spatial justice through design and is actively self-reflective on the power dynamics within our social constructs that impact cultural and racial identities and everyday lives as we work to decolonize our minds, institutions, and places.

Acknowledging the land in architecture

“I think the question you should be asking is what you can do for you.” (Rankine, 2019: viii).

This work positions the practice of land acknowledgement notas a transactional reframing of familiar arrangements of power or towards singularity, but rather a critical self reflection challenging one’s own position in the immoral narrative of the colonial dispossession and relationship breaking with the land. Rankine’s quote above (Black woman’s response to White male heroism) echoes James Baldwin’s (2016) demand that white people examine their own need for supremacy. Here, we explore the lived reality of sterile separation from earth as mother to both of us as coloniser and colonised, unveiling the vulnerability of an aloneness which in turn manifests in the violence of power structures. Rooted in the act of drawing, animistic imaginings of relationship between human and the land tell stories of past, present and future. This storytelling challenges land acknowledgement, looking beyond apology towards its potential to crack open a ‘wound’ creating the possibilities of reckoning and accountability in historic legacies and contemporary realities.

Akomolafe, B. (2021) Making Sanctuary as Decolonial Practice: Putting Wounds to Work. Crisis as Catalyst (virtual) Training Series, Institute for the Development of Human Arts.

Coates, T. (2015) Between the World and Me. Random House, New York. Edugyan, E. (2021) Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling. Anansi Press.

Hook, D. (2011) Retrieving Biko: a Black Consciousness critique of whiteness. African Identities, 9(1), pp. 19-32.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) Peck, R. and Baldwin, J. [documentary film]. Magnolia Pictures. Jones, R. P. (2020) White Too Long. Simon & Schuster: New York.

Mnakem, R. (2017) My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Central Recovery Press, Las Vegas.

Rankine, C. (2019) The White Card. Graywolf Press: Minneapolis.

Yunkaporta, T. (2020) Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. Harper Collins: New York.

Venue: Online

Time:  16:30


Members: Free

Non-Members: R150.00

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