From Apartheid to HIV/AIDS: The Construction of Memory, Identity, and Communication Through Public Murals in South Africa
South African mural art is a reflection of a country in transformation and in search of a new identity. Over the last three decades South Africa has gone through dramatic changes – from the end of apartheid to the building of a new post-apartheid nation to dealing with the crisis of HIV/AIDS. In the early 1990s, with the end of apartheid and with the involvement of a greater diversity of the population, painting murals became “community” events and mural themes began dealing with racial and social issues, including the need to build a new nation. By the late 1990s, the issue of HIV/AIDS became a significant mural topic, as it is today. As public art works, murals are site specific, their messages aimed at particular communities and issues they deem important. Mural placement is also a way through which certain groups or communities claim a space or area, an issue that has become important in post-apartheid South Africa. Governmental agencies and communities used murals to communicate to and educate the population about the changes taking place within the country. By portraying blacks and coloreds in positions of authority and power murals served as a means of racial empowerment. Moreover, the issue and portrayal of identity has changed from the apartheid to the post-apartheid eras. Post-apartheid murals provide a forum in which the new value systems and models of identity publicly proclaims South Africa’s redefined society.
School:Bowling Green State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:african art south africa murals mural hiv aids apartheid
Date of Publication:01/01/2007