Public space in South Africa often feels overwhelmingly male-focused. Nevertheless, some municipalities, in the wake of post-apartheid transformation, have consciously attempted to commemorate women in the renaming that has taken place since 1994. In this article I examine some of these impulses, and their implication for the public commemoration of women in South Africa. I am interested in two aspects of this: how ideas about gender are represented in public memorialization (ideas about both masculinity and femininity); and how these ideas have changed, if at all, over the last twenty years. In order to do this I examine the phenomenon of memorialization via street names, in particular the street naming controversies that have erupted in key South African cities over roughly the last ten years.
- © 2017 by The Regents of the University of California and the National Council on Public History