Published on Nov 19, 2013
‘Zonnebloem renamed’ is a site-specific artwork by Haroon Gunn-Salie.
Executed on Sunday 17 August 2013, ‘Zonnebloem renamed’ marks the centenary of the 1913 Natives Land Act in South Africa. This short film forms part of the artist’s ongoing collaborative exhibition with District Six residents titled WITNESS.
WITNESS was conducted between 2011 and 2013 and deals with still unresolved issues of forced removals and land compensation in District Six and South Africa. District Six was a closely-knit, vibrant and multi-cultural community, forcibly removed by apartheid decree during the 1970′s from Cape Town city centre, when the area was declared ‘whites only’ under the Group Areas Act in 1968. During this time, District Six was officially renamed by the apartheid government as Zonnebloem. This renaming further erased the history of the area and people from maps and public spaces.
This film shows Gunn-Salie executing series a temporary artworks by changing the ‘Zonnebloem’ roadsigns in central Cape Town to read ‘District Six’.
The artwork is self-reflexive piece with deep political intent. ‘Zonnebloem renamed’ is a brazen attempt by Gunn-Salie to change apartheid and colonial heritage that dominates peoples popular memory in Cape Town and South Africa, through artwork, social action and intervention.
Artwork and film by Haroon Gunn-Salie
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