Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Commemorating and ForgettingChallenges for the New South Africa$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martin J. Murray

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816682997

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816682997.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 16 October 2019

Facing Backward, Looking Forward

Facing Backward, Looking Forward

The Politics of Remembering and Forgetting

Chapter:
(p.49) 3 Facing Backward, Looking Forward
Source:
Commemorating and Forgetting
Author(s):

Martin J. Murray

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816682997.003.0004

With the collapse of white minority rule and the dismantling of apartheid, citizens of the ‘new South Africa’ are called upon to look two ways in time: back to the racially-divided past to confront painful memories born of discrimination and oppression, and forward to the future – with its attendant risks, uncertainties, and contingent possibilities. Looking backward, they hold onto the past by remembering and commemorating. Looking forward, they envision a radiant future unencumbered and unburdened by the sordid apartheid past. The central conundrum that arises from this Janus-faced, schizophrenic vision has to do with resolving the tension between the politics of remembering and the politics of forgetting. On the one hand, the collapse of apartheid has triggered an enthusiasm for the recovery of those aspects of the national past which white minority rule had tried to erase, suppress, and elide from collective memory. On the other hand, finding a common ground of shared values upon which to forge a unifying national identity requires moving beyond – escaping – the past that had divided the country along racial and ethnic, ‘tribal’ and linguistic lines.

Keywords:   Collective memory and selective forgetting, Contemporary (post-apartheid) South Africa, Heritage and tourism studies, Commemorative practices, Monuments and memorials, Museums and public exhibitions, Thanotourism, Traumascapes

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.