10/06/2020

South End was a vibrant, diverse and thriving mixed community before implementation of the 1950 Group Areas Act under the apartheid regime. Forced removals implemented under the act, removed Coloured residents of South End to areas such as Gelvandale, Korsten, and Chetty. The Chinese people were moved to Kabega Park, Indians to Malabar and black people to townships such as New Brighton (https://www.southendmuseum.co.za/).  


  1. Why have you embarked on this project? Why South End and not another suburb?

 

South End was a vibrant, diverse and thriving mixed community before implementation of the 1950 Group Areas Act under the apartheid regime. Forced removals implemented under the act, removed Coloured residents of South End to areas such as Gelvandale, Korsten, and Chetty. The Chinese people were moved to Kabega Park, Indians to Malabar and black people to townships such as New Brighton (https://www.southendmuseum.co.za/).  The forced removal of community members at that time decimated the social structure of South End and destroyed a way of life. The South End Museum importantly acknowledges and preserves the histories, memories and legacies of the people of this community and their families.

In the absence of an artefact that would present a tangible overview of the physical constitution of South End as it was before removals (and since the physical structure of the place was fundamentally changed after removals) the idea for a scale model was presented to the School of Architecture. The scale model that was produced for the project is a representation of the place as it existed just prior to the forced removals. It encapsulates the full physical extents of South End and presents a physical concretisation of place that, it is hoped, might enable individuals’ reflections while serving as a touchstone to future generations by providing a tangible and easily experienced point of reference.

The model was ready just in time for the opening of the splendid new exhibition hall at the South End Museum at the end of January 2020

 

  1. How long have you worked on the project? From the conceptualizing to the delivery of the model?

The project was initiated in March 2019 with preparatory documents accumulated during 2019 and work on the physical model started in October 2019 and completed in January 2020

 

  1. Who worked with you on the project?

The model was made possible by a Nelson Mandela University Engagement Grant which I applied for in conjunction with Mr Michael Barry (then Director of the Department of Arts and Culture at NMU). We liaised with the highly committed members of the South End Museum Trust through Mr Colin Abrahams; and the work for the model was carried out by an equally committed and enthusiastic team of students from the 1st year M.Arch (4th year architecture) studio.

  1. What were the challenges posed in its completion?

Source information was incomplete and sketchy and required a lot of work to synthesize, in order to produce the complete base maps that were eventually used for the model.

 

  1. How was the fact that the model will be displayed permanently received by the South End Museum management?

All who worked on the project were moved by the acknowledgement and appreciation shown to us, by the South End Museum Administrators and South End community members at the opening of the new exhibition that was held on the 29th January . It was also heartening to see the effect that the model had on people of the community  who animatedly discussed particular memories while making pointed references to specific places on the model.


Contact information
Mr Andrew Palframan
HOD ; Senior Lecturer
Tel: 27 41 5042719
andrew.palframan@mandela.ac.za