'People feel excluded from the city'

To discuss cultural iconography and public memory particularly after 1994, Eusebius McKaiser speaks to Founder and Managing Director of The City Agency Zahira Asmal.

Asmal says her study is particularly focused on Cape Town which is the most visibly colonial city and she can make references to certain points of iconography.

She adds that cities are a global phenomenon and most countries are urbanising quite rapidly and it is not just a South African thing.

READ: Metropolis meeting focuses on building inclusive cities

In fact, we are urbanising slower than other countries in the world like India and China.

Zahira Asmal, Founder and Managing Director of The City

64% of the South African population is urbanised.

Zahira Asmal, Founder and Managing Director of The City

She says there are interconnectedness and opportunities to learn from each other that happens in cities at a faster rate than anywhere else.

So it is at this point that we need to make large differences to create knowledgeable societies and we can do that while focusing on cities.

Zahira Asmal, Founder and Managing Director of The City

She says when there is no inclusion in cities a number of things happen. Firstly, a group of people feel excluded from the city.

The protests firstly and secondly the violent protests have increased in our South African cities, we are known to be the protest capital of the world.

Zahira Asmal, Founder and Managing Director of The City

She says she truly believes that one of the reasons, in addition to service delivery, is that these protests are about being seen and heard in our cities.

In Cape Town, for instance, just over 84% of Cape Town's population is brown, so mixed race, black and has Indian ancestry.

Zahira Asmal, Founder and Managing Director of The City

And yet that is not visible in the city and 47% of the population is so-called coloured or mixed race, that history and identity don't manifest itself visibly in the physical landscape.

Zahira Asmal, Founder and Managing Director of The City

Listen below to hear what else Asmal had to say about cultural iconography and public memory:


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