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Death in early Johannesburg : Braamfontein Cemetery

Death in early Johannesburg : Braamfontein Cemetery

Reflecting the demographic pattern of the surrounding city, the cemetery was strictly demarcated by religion and ethnicity, zones that are immediately apparent from even just a casual of inspection of the tombstones – or the lack of tombstones. “Civic fathers”, Mark Gevisser points out, “set boundaries in death as in life”:
On first glance it had, quite reasonably, to do with religion. The southern portion of the Old Cemetery [….] had been consecrated for Christian denominations – ‘Dutch Reformed’, ‘Nonconformist’, ‘Roman Catholic’, and ‘Church of England’ – while the northern portion seemed to be reserved for other faiths: ‘Chinese’, ‘Coolies’, ‘Cape People’, ‘Mahomedans’, ‘Kaffirs’, and – my favourite – ‘Christian Kaffirs’, this last exposing the fiction that it was about religion at all. It was, of course, about race.

(en train de lire ce merveilleux #livre de #cartographie qui parle d’#enfance, de nostalgie, d’#apartheid et d’#afrique_du_sud, de #Lithuanie et de #migrations, de mines et de #cimetières…)


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