TERMINAL | Ashley Walters

Dark City

Dark City explores the built environment in the ‘coloured’ townships on the Cape Flats near Cape Town. The Cape Flats is dotted with prison like structures which were built during apartheid South Africa to house ‘coloured’ families in the Western Cape, many of whom had been forcefully removed from District Six and other areas. These structures commonly took the form of blocks of three to four story flats (or fletse as they are known). These blocks are typically arranged parallel to one another forming a central courtyard. Many of these exist in close vicinity to each other. These heteropian spaces are often represented in terms of poverty, unemployment and stereotypes that are associated with violence and crime.

In my investigation of these regulated spaces, I look at their effect on their inhabitants and how the structures potentially influence behavioral patterns within the ‘coloured’ townships. I look at how surveillance and physical and political hierarchies assert boundaries within a society, creating internal conflict amongst communities and forming microcosms of control within these communities.

In Dark City I challenge these stereotypes through ways of seeing the visible and the invisible within this landscape.