Falling Monuments, Reluctant Ruins

Colloquium on the persistence of the past in the architecture and infrastructure of colonialism and apartheid

Organised by the Wits History Workshop & the School of Architecture & Planning (University of the Witwatersrand)

Supported by IFAS-Recherche

In traversing the stubborn landscapes of colonialism and apartheid, we are confronted with the ambivalent ruins and seemingly innocuous buildings of this forgotten urban infrastructure. What we observe is the lingering presence of colonial history and architecture’s largely hidden yet pervasive everyday structures. Such conflicting spatial claims continue to raise a number of haunting questions. In this colloquium, we are seeking to understand in what ways history and architecture could ameliorate, contest or subvert these protracted conditions in terms of social justice, land reclamation and urban rehabilitation. The postcolonial decades following the dismantling of oppressive regimes across the globe are to be examined in the light of contemporary communal and memorial projects, in which building ruins are being fought over and renegotiated as sites of remembrance.


Friday 24 November 2018 | 08.30 – 16:45

Saturday 25 November 2018 | 08:30 – 16:00

Humanities Graduate Centre Seminar Room, Southwest Engineering Building, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

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