Monuments and meaning making: Freedom Park and the bumpy road to reconciliation and nation-building in South Africa

  • Pieter Labuschagne University of South Africa
Keywords: Freedom Park, Monuments, Nation-building, Reconciliation, Policy makers, SADF soldiers, Salvokop, Voortrekker Monument

Abstract

On Salvokop, just south of Pretoria, a new memorial in the form of an open park (Freedom Park) was established to honour those who had sacrificed their lives in the struggle for freedom and humanity, but also to enhance reconciliation and freedom in South Africa. Although Freedom Park was a welcome addition to the commemoration of a specific chapter in the country’s history, it also attracted criticism for excluding the names of former South African Defence Force (SADF) soldiers who also perished. It seems that the difference in interpretation of who were the heroes and heroines of the struggle is thwarting the initial noble ideas of commemoration, reconciliation and nation-building. The article focuses on the differences in interpretation and also attempts to analyse Freedom Park’s role as part of peace-building in South Africa.

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Published
2012-06-30
Section
Articles

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