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Regeneration may be viewed as a form of ritualization which

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Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon

on 29 May 2015

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Transcript of Regeneration may be viewed as a form of ritualization which

Regeneration may be viewed as a form of ritualization which seeks to create the material and social conditions for the renewal of life in the face of material decay, violence and death.
Only the man who is himself enlightened, who is not
afraid of
shadows, only
he can say
what a free
state cannot dare
to say:
"Argue as much as you like,
but obey" Kant
"Though we cannot see in the dark we must be able to trace the limits of the dark areas" Hayek
cities of light and dark
(urban regeneration and enlightenment)

Diamond Exchange
Caledonian Hall and Chambers
1904 Slum Clearances from Brickfields to Kliptown

1923, Urban Areas Act,
Murray-Thornton Commission

1955 Sophiatown

1970s/1980s evictions of inner-city

1982 -Govender Case
Post 1994
Evictions from inner-city based on health and safety

2007 Inner City Regeneration Charter

2012 Blue Moonlight Court Case

2013 - Operation Clean Sweep
rituals of purging, cleansing and dispossession
‘Only the conscious horror of destruction creates the correct relationship with the dead: unity with them because we, like them, are the victims of the same condition and the same disappointed hope.’ Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno.

“‘’Good’ death not only promises a rebirth for the individual but also a renewal of the world of the living; while ‘bad’ death represents a loss of regenerative potential’ Maurice Bloch and Jonathan Parry

As John Maud observed in 1938 “one of the most stubborn and complicated problems of local government in Johannesburg has been the securing of decent living conditions for the heterogeneous population”

In 2014, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute reported that “private sector rentals are too expensive for many poor households seeking accommodation in inner city areas. The gap in supply and demand of low-income rental accommodation remains a crisis”
Bettina Malcomess and Dorothee Kreutzfeldt have argued "the sequence of health crisis, slum removal and emergency camp was to become a pattern definining the biopolitics of removal and resettlement in the city"
" "with the extension of the bourgois commodity economy, the dark horizon of myth is illumined by the sun of calculating reason" Adorno and Horkheimer

"The newest addition to Johannesburg's skyline is indicative of Absa and Barclays' commitment to cutting-edge innovation technology and urban regeneration." ABSA
"The Death and Rebirth of Johannesburg"
“contemporary urban regeneration is also permeated by religious and quasi religious expressions of hope, enthusiasm and the search for radical personal and corporate rebirth which mark traditional religious faiths, more recent spiritualities and many secular new ageisms” Robert Furbey

"Johannesburg had to die. It could not survive. We should be grateful it died." Gerald Garner

'The goal of the City government's Inner City Regeneration Strategy is to raise and sustain private investment in the inner city, leading to a rise in property values.'


2003 -- Inner City Regeneration Strategy

Urban Development Zones (tax breaks for private investors)
Better Buildings Programme (conversion of 'Bad Buildings' into Better Buildings

2004 Establishment of Johannesburg Social Housing Company. However, still
under 1000 units of social housing.

2007- Inner City Regeneration Charter

'a key residential node where a diverse range of people from different income groups and backgrounds can have their residential needs met. The inner city will not be a dormitory for the poor, nor an exclusive enclave of loft apartments, galleries and coffee shops'

2013 -- Corridors of Freedom (focusing on transportation nodes)
-- Operation 'Clean Sweep': Assault on Informal Trading

"In every case 'light space' is invaded by the figure of the 'dark space', on the level of the body in the form of epidemic and uncontrollable disease, and on the level of the city in the person of the homeless". Antony Vidler
“Maboneng stands as a great example of everything Mandela fought for. Despite many unique challenges over the past 5 years, Propertuity and the Maboneng community have persisted with passion and undying commitment to rebuild a piece of Johannesburg: a place that can be enjoyed by all South Africans and a true example of what the new South Africa can become. A place of light where people from varying backgrounds have the opportunity to live and work happily in the same community. Maboneng is a shared vision for the future”. As the development of the Maboneng Precinct continues next year, Liebmann hopes the mural will inspire the entire community to live with the embodiment of the values of who he believes to be the world’s greatest leader. “As we continue to transform the built environment, it is our hope that we will see many other people jump on board to be part of positive change in Johannesburg”.

(Photo source David Krut)
Michael Jackson reflections on these themes drawing from Arendt’s notions of second birth or natality are apt here, which requires “the capacity to initiate the new, even in the face of unspeakable calamity”

Jackson writes that “ritualization has to be approached not simply as a social phenomenon that reorders and reintegrates social relations, but existentially as an ontologically primitive mode of action that lays upon on the emotions, manipulates the body and changes consciousness”

Ritualization enacts a stabilization of social and ontological orders, creating the conditions for social and individual renewal.

Catherine Bell: “ritualization is first and foremost a strategy for the construction of certain types of power relations effective within particular social organizations”
"In a shell of a building, occupied by squatters for six years with no water or electricity, Johannesburg property developer Renney Plitt sees nothing but opportunity. Behind the piles of rubbish, much of it human waste, he sees new housing for South Africa's burgeoning middle class. It's not just a dream. He's already transformed a similarly squalid complex nearby into a block of flats with a supermarket and playground." AFP 2012
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