Proclamation 73 has come about from a project initiated by Zara Julius and Chandra Frank. It explores the family archives of people racialized as ‘coloured’ and ‘indian’ in Durban under the 1950 Group Areas Act. It will be on show at Durban Art Gallery from 10 December 2018 until 15 February 2019.
Inspired by their own family histories, Zara Julius and Chandra Frank set out to collect family photos of everyday experiences. Proclamation 73 portrays narratives on the meaning of loss, kinship and home through drawing on the family album. The presented collection includes photos of weddings, beach days, ballroom dance contests, street portraits and other snapshots.
Disrupting static racial categories
The exhibition 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 antiblackness.
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. 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 Afrapix documentary photographers Peter McKenzie and Rafs Mayet, this exhibition invites viewers to think through questions of representation, erasure, and intimacy.
Three public events scheduled
10 December 2018 – Exhibition opening with Afrapix photographers Jeeva Ragjopaul, Rafs Mayet, UZKN senior lecturer in education and gender, Dr Bronwyn Anderson, 6pm
11 December 2018 – A public walkabout the exhibition with the curators, 10am
15 February 2019 – 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 partnership with the Goethe-Institut South Africa as part of the Goethe-Institut Project Space (GPS).
What: Proclamation 73 exhibition
Where: Durban Art Gallery Smith Street, 2nd Floor Smith Street a
When: 10 Dec 2018 – 15 Feb 2019
Durban Art Gallery opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 8am – 6pm