A mall for all? Race and public space in post-apartheid Cape Town

Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch & Annika Teppo

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Houssay-Holzschuch, M. & Teppo, A. (1). A mall for all? Race and public space in post-apartheid Cape Town. cultural geographies, 16(3), 351–379. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474474009105052

Cape Town , Mall , Post-apartheid , Public Space , Publicization , Race

This article analyses post-apartheid public spaces through social and spatial practices at the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront mall in Cape Town. Our empirical evidence suggests that these public spaces involve much more than just consumption patterns, as they sustain and support novel ways of asserting social identities in a new political situation. These changes are, however, quite complex and fraught with ambivalence. Consequently, we scrutinize how race is staged in that space, and how racial diversity produces various kinds of boundaries. We then argue that these urban practices lead us to an understanding of the precarious balance between private and public spaces. We propose the notion of ‘publicization’ – the process whereby private spaces acquire a more public dimension.

Main finding
"Publicization" - private spaces can in effect become more public.

Description of method used in the article

Of practical use

Organising categories

Field Observations Survey
Physical types
Markets Waterfront
Geographic locations