Decoding the ‘new’ culture of roadside memorialisation in South Africa

  • Michael Eric Hagemann University of the Western Cape

Abstract

Roadside memorials are such a common sight on this country’s roads that they barely warrant a second glance from passers-by, yet
there was a time in recent memory when this was not the case. The increasing occurrence of these humble shrines indicates the entrenchment
and expansion of a relatively “new” cultural practice that invites critical attention. In this paper, I intend to demonstrate that
the emergence of this phenomenon in South Africa is a local adaptation of similar memorial traditions found elsewhere. By
unpacking the forms and functions of these memorials as markers of private grief in public spaces, I will suggest that they reflect a
secularising trend that in itself mirrors the demographics of our post-apartheid society.

Published
2018-11-15
How to Cite
HAGEMANN, Michael Eric. Decoding the ‘new’ culture of roadside memorialisation in South Africa. WritingThreeSixty, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 58, nov. 2018. Available at: <http://epubs.ac.za/index.php/w360/article/view/325>. Date accessed: 17 dec. 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.14426/writing360.v1.325.