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Ron Santing
Ron Santing
Role
Advisor - Cultural Heritage
Email
r.santing [at] dutchculture.nl
 

Common Ground: newly discovered South Africa architectural heritage with a Dutch legacy (1902–1961)

Common Ground: newly discovered South Africa architectural heritage with a Dutch legacy (1902–1961)

The book will be presented on October 19th during a mini-symposium.
By Ron Santing

In the first half of the 20th century, many Dutch architects moved to South Africa. They designed hundreds of buildings and residential areas, from swimming pools to the 'model township' Atteridgeville. For the first time, the book Common Ground: Dutch-South African Architectural Exchanges 1902–1961 explores the work and the impact of these buildings. The book will be presented on October 19th during a mini-symposium and was supported through the DutchCulture Matching Fund. The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) also contributed to the production of the book.

Media
Image
Amanda court, Pretoria (2020)
Caption
Amanda court, Pretoria (2020). Photo: Cameron Forder
Complex History

The book is a result of a transnational study into the work of emigrated Dutch architects from the period 1902–1961. In this period, more than seventy architects chose South Africa as their new homeland after the end of the South African War. These contributions are now partly controversial because they were created at a time when apartheid politics and segregation were on the rise. Therefore, the book reveals not only a great variety of architectural styles and building types, but also an unsuspected layer in the complex history of migration, cultural exchanges and social constructions of public memory and heritage.

This research was initiated by the University of Pretoria and carried out with support from the Embassy of the Netherlands in South Africa, the South African Heritage Resources Agency, the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency, Zuid-Afrikahuis and DutchCulture.

Mini-symposium

The presentation will take place in the Netherlands and South Africa on architectural heritage shared between these two countries. The event will take place simultaneously in Amsterdam, Pretoria and Cape Town and can be followed online.

During the mini-symposium, an interactive panel discussion will discuss the results of the research. Participants include Ben Mwasinga (South African Heritage Resources Agency, Cape Town) and the three editors of the book. After the symposium, Common Ground: Dutch-South African Architectural Exchanges 1902–1961 will be presented simultaneously in Amsterdam, Pretoria and Cape Town. The symposium will be moderated by Jinna Smit, Programme Director of the International Heritage Cooperation programme of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE).

Practical information   
  • Date: Tuesday 19 October, 2021
  • Time: 15:00
  • The presentation can be followed live via YouTube.
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