Narratiewe terapie en eksternalisering in Durant Sihlali se Kliptown- en Pimmevillereekse
Willemse, Elani Lena
MetadataShow full item record
This study explores Durant Sihlali’s documentation of traumatic events during apartheid in South Africa, with specific focus on his watercolour paintings documenting the forced removals and demolitions that took place in Kliptown and Pimville during the seventies of the previous century. The argument can be made that Sihlali used the process of creating art as a type of narrative therapy, and that each artwork functions as a form of externalisation. Based on the assumption that each artwork is representative of a specific narrative in the broader context of the forced removals and demolitions, it is argued that the problem which Sihlali experienced, namely the trauma caused by the forced removals, is separated from himself through the process of creating an artwork. This made it possible for him to assume a more objective and external perspective towards the oppression afflicted by apartheid. Furthermore it is argued that Sihlali could not only manifest his emotions in an external format, namely the artwork, but that he also assumed a positive and optimistic position towards the conflict and oppression suffered during this time. The idea that he would have liked to open a museum of his artworks, where the South African community could learn more about him and the real “truth” of South African history, did not only suggest that his work harboured the potential to bring his own trauma to resolution, but could also bring peace to other South Africans, albeit as victim or oppressor. The cathartic characteristics of his artworks are conveyed through the delicate handling of his subject matter through his watercolour medium. This is not only reinforced by the delicate and sensitive brushwork in his paintings, but also by the nostalgic characteristics of his paintings, where memories are remembered without pain.
- Humanities