(Post)apartheid Conditions: Psychoanalysis and Social by Derek Hook (auth.)

By Derek Hook (auth.)

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11). In this instance then, we have a form of embodiment in which the attempt is to make the land a body of the consciousness of the place. It comes as no surprise then that the human form haunts monuments, or that monuments should attempt to affect power through imaginative forms of embodiment. That such a process might be experienced as consoling and 34 (Post)apartheid Conditions unsettling, familiarizing and disconcerting, is a factor that remains to be explained. It is with these ideas in mind, and with a particular concern for the psychic affects of embodiment, that we turn our attentions to Freud’s notion of the uncanny.

A far less reverent example of how such a phantom presence was imbued in the Strijdom bust comes from Frans Legodi, a member of the cleaning department at Strijdom Square: We used to clean … Mr Strijdom’s head. We would order soap to keep it shiny, even inside the nose. I would look to see if a white man was passing. If not, I would slap the face. That would make me feel good. (Diphane, 1999) As I have been arguing then, the uncanniness of monuments, their ability to evoke psychical/ideological forms of presence opens up the possibility that they might function as a means of their own subversion.

Strijdom, former apartheid prime minister), and began a premeditated killing spree. W. Botha was expected to announce Nelson Mandela’s release, and while the visiting Mother Teresa prayed for peace at the Pretoria showgrounds, Strydom began firing upon unsuspecting black men and women in Pretoria’s busiest public square. 1 A letter found after the crimes, addressed to his father, noted ‘What I am about to do is not a punishment for you. It serves as the first shots in the Third Freedom war which is already being waged’ (cited in Rosen, 1992, p.

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