Proclamation 73 exhibit takes you back to Indian’s segregation chapter of South Africa

‘Proclamation 73’ is a must-see exhibit in Durban that which portrays narratives on the meaning of loss, kinship and home through drawing on a family album.

The exhibition titled ‘Proclamation 73’ comes forth out of a project initiated by Zara Julius and Chandra Frank.

The exhibit explores the family archives of people racialized as Coloured and Indian in Durban under the 1950 Group Areas Act.

What to expect from the ‘Proclamation 73’ exhibit

The exhibition takes its title from the Proclamation 73, issued in 1951, in which Indians were further categorised as a subdivision of people racialised as coloured.

The presented collection includes photos of weddings, beach days, ballroom dance contests, street portraits, and other snapshots.

The exhibition investigates and challenges how different racial histories and segregation continue to operate within the city of Durban and its
surroundings.

Through weaving representations of “the everyday” together with photos of the aftermath of forced removals, Proclamation 73 seeks to disrupt static racial categories, especially taking into account how categories such as ‘coloured’ and ‘indian’ were used as tools of anti-blackness.

Inspired by their own family histories, Zara Julius and Chandra Frank set out to collect family photos of everyday lived experiences.

Chandra Frank, Zara Juilius

This further complicates the arbitrary nature of racial classification under the apartheid regime.

Proclamation 73 covers a large time period, and takes a non-linear approach to the fragmented narratives and histories that emerge out of this project – working with archives that are rarely viewed alongside each other.

Through portraying a wide variety of images, archival materials, and selected work from the collection of documentary Afrapix photographers Peter McKenzie and Rafs Mayet, invites viewers to think through questions of representation, erasure, and intimacy.

How long will the exhibit run for?

The exhibit runs until 15 February 2019 and on this day there will be an in-conversation on contemporary perspectives and responses in collaboration with DUT students.

All included images are donated by Durban community members or are part of existing archival collections.

‘Proclamation 73’ has set up collaborative partnerships with the Old Court House Museum and Art for Humanity DUT in order to realise this exhibition.

Proclamation 73 is a not-for-profit project in partnership with the Goethe-Institut South Africa as part of the Goethe-Institut Project Space (GPS).

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About: Chandra Frank is a PhD candidate and independent curator. She holds an MPhil in African Studies from the University of Cape Town and is currently a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London and guest lecturer at California State University in Los Angeles. visit her website here


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