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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Remembering experience, interpreting memory: life stories from Windermere
Author:Field, SeanISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
informal settlements
oral history
Urbanization and Migration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020180120063656
Abstract:The destruction of a culturally mixed Windermere/Kensington community in Cape Town, South Africa, during the period 1958-1963, and the development of the so-called 'model coloured townships' of Kensington and Facreton, are tragic examples of apartheid's social engineering. By the late 1960s the apartheid State had completed the classification and removal process of former Windermere and Kensington residents. Life stories from Windermere are testimony to the porous social and cultural boundaries between residents classified into separate identities and their interweaving struggles over jobs, homes and resources. Through the life stories of two African and two coloured interviewees, this paper explores interviewees' memories of cultural difference, hybridity and identity formation. The final section argues that in listening to the agency or lack of agency reflected in the telling of life stories there are complex clues about experience, memory and identity that can be interpreted. Moreover, life stories provide insights into how people developed their survival strategies and their ways of living with the emotional wounds inflicted by apartheid. Bibliogr., notes, ref.