King Williams Town: Mandela, a Fort Hare student
Collages and acrylics on 1/250.000e regional map (80X59 cm)

Mandela went to study to Healdtown and Fort Hare before they became part of the Ciskei Bantustan.

1948 – Policy of apartheid (separateness) adopted when National Party (NP) takes power.

1950 – Population classified by race. Group Areas Act passed to segregate blacks and whites. Communist Party banned. ANC responds with campaign of civil disobedience, led by Nelson Mandela.


Port Shepstone Coast: the White’s geography of apartheid.
Gouache on 1/250.000 regional map (59X85 cm)

Following the promulgation of Apartheid laws taking over from segregationist colonial legislations, the Natal Province is entirely reserved for Whites [parts of original map]. The territories reserved for Blacks – which will take the name of Bantustans in the 1960’s – are demarcated as many pockets and enclaves [black sections] disconnected one from the others. They serve as ‘labour reservoirs’ for neighbouring white towns [Natal South Coast seaside resorts] and for sugar cane plantations.

1960 – Seventy black demonstrators killed at Sharpeville. ANC banned.
1961 – South Africa declared a republic, leaves the Commonwealth. Mandela heads ANC’s new military wing, which launches sabotage campaign.
1960s – International pressure against government begins, South Africa excluded from Olympic Games.


Margate: “A village of Happiness” An extreme geography of apartheid.
Gouache and acrylic on 1/50.000 topographical map (59X77 cm)

White towns, as the seaside resort of Margate – with its symbolic holiday retirement village named “Village of happiness” [grey piece of original map], and its neighbourhood [white sections] are serviced by African rural areas and townships [parts of original map with black limits].

1964 – ANC leader Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment.

1966 September – Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd assassinated.
1970s – More than 3 million people forcibly resettled in black ‘homelands’.


Art Borders of Bantustans : the geography of Grand Apartheid.Gouache on 1/250.000 regional map (59X85 cm)

The picture in negative of apartheid? Grand apartheid laws foresee autonomisation or independence of territories reserved to a single African ethnic group. Here, the KwaZulu Bantustan [parts of yellowish original map with grey limits], an autonomous territory reserved for the Zulus, comprises rural areas – former native reserves – and urban areas – so called ‘townships’ – located near the white cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The Natal Province is made of a subtropical coastal strip connected to a mountainous hinterland [ironically painted here as black and grey sections: the latter symbolising the numerous Indian people who have come to work on sugar cane plantations].

1976 – More than 600 killed in clashes between black protesters and security forces during uprising which starts in Soweto.
1984-89 – Township revolt, state of emergency.


Kosi Bay: The Black Border.
Acrylics on 1/50.000 topographical map (59X77 cm)

This map represents one of the black national borders of South Africa during apartheid, separating the KwaZulu Bantustan from Mozambique. In reality it shows a connected territory with indigenous Thonga people living on both sides of the border [different grey sections on the map], and with political control of white South Africa on both parts, especially during the Mozambican civil war. Ponta do Ouro [piece of original map] was then a stronghold for the RENAMO Milice, armed by Pretoria and the USA and opposed to the Marxist army of independence of Mozambique (FRELIMO)

1989 – FW de Klerk replaces PW Botha as president, meets Mandela. Public facilities desegregated. Many ANC activists freed.
1990 – ANC unbanned, Mandela released after 27 years in prison. Namibia becomes independent.


Cape Town: Robben Attacks!
Collages and acrylics on 1/25.000 topographical map (59X77 cm)