Review of David Goldblatt, Structures of Dominion and Democracy, Paris (Part 2)

“In a new land of signs, old wounds and recent injuries, painful memories and hopeful fantasies, jostle alongside one another; it takes a veritable archaeologist’s eye to unravel and tease out their complex layers of reference”.

- Tamar Garb

An observation of key historic buildings in South African history, an analysis of the time and context in which they were constructed and their fate years, sometimes centuries later, are all clues to finding an answer. This now, is the work that has been conducted by David Goldblatt for several decades. Since the eighties, the South African master of photography has been documenting the architectural history of his country through a series of works entitled Structures. The works, which span buildings erected as early as the 1660s are testimonies of successive policies and methods employed by White settlers, from the Baaskap era (Afrikaans for Master’s dominion or White domination) to present day post-apartheid democratic era attempts at creating a new architectural identity for the “rainbow nation”.

David Goldblatt Photo 2 - Image by Olivia Anani

NEXT: Piles of stones, rubble, and empty spaces – Dominion and Democracy (Part 3)


Afropean, writer, photographer, broadcaster, music geek.

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