This book proposes that the climate of neglect that surrounds MuseumAfrica reflects larger ideas about the place of colonial institutions in the postcolonial, and in this case postapartheid, even post-transition, order. Cast as products of discredited worldviews, colonial relics—like museums, archives, and libraries, to name a few—are seen as being contaminated by the racist worlds that bore them. In the Africanist climate of present-day South Africa, these visual reminders of the past are further eschewed for being, as Leslie Witz puts it, at odds with “Africanness” itself. Undoubtedly, this position has the weight of history on its side; many if not all of these cultural institutions were created under the reign of undemocratic, oppressive regimes and were, in fact, technologies that helped sustain unequal rule.
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