Image Alt


Venice Biennale

Exhibition Design

Between Ownership and Belonging: Transitional Space in the Post-apartheid Metropolis
Commissioner: Lenin Magigwane Shope – South African Ambassador in Rome
Deputy Commissioner: Alwyn Figgins – Consul-General of South Africa in Milan
Curator: Architect Mphethi Malunga Morojele – MMA Architects
Project by: Departments of Foreign Affairs and Arts and Culture

The South African Departments of Arts and Culture, Foreign Affairs and the South African Heritage Resource Agency are honoured to have been invited to participate in the 10th Venice Architectural Biennale. South Africa’s decision to participate in the 10th Venice Architectural Biennale is motivated by the desire to promote discussion and debate around the transformation of our cities. In particular, it is hoped that the debate will contribute to the process of bringing together the previously separate communities of our young democracy

The South African Exhibition will be entitled “Between Ownership and Belonging:”

This exhibition, the first ever from a sub-Saharan Africa country, will focus on specific sites where possibilities of a new public culture and a transforming South African urban identity are emerging out of an apartheid past. Urban projects falling within these two categories will be exhibited through various forms of architectural representation to bring into relief the transitional terrain between “ownership” and “belonging”.

The Apartheid system was notorious for the way it institutionalised racial separation and discrimination. The regime successfully enlisted architecture and planning in its grand socio-spatial project. South Africans are now asking how have South African cities transformed in the aftermath of Apartheid? The central challenge for the new South Africa is the one of integration: where is it happening and what are the aesthetics and materiality of these patters of social movement and change?

This exhibition will look at projects that have successfully transcended the unequal and separate development that is part of the legacy South Africa is still experiencing today.

The projects are categorised under the headings of “memory,” projects which use recent heritage as urban generators and “mobility,” interventions that increase access and inclusion for the new citizenry. These are augmented in the exhibition by photographic and film essays on contemporary urbanity in South Africa.