'Some people go back every week to look at their homes' - CPT's forced removals

It's one of the ugliest parts of South Africa's history.

The forced removals of tens of thousands of people from areas declared "white only" under the apartheid regime.

A new book seeks to explore, through photographs and former resident's own memories, the impact of the forced removals on families living in Cape Town's Harfield Village.

These days a wealthy, still primarily white suburb, nestled between Claremont and Kenilworth, much of Harfield Village's history has been whitewashed by gentrification.

The book, Impossible Return, is compiled by the University of Pretoria's Professor Siona O'Connell, whose own family members were victims of the forced removals, something she says affects her today.

Notwithstanding the fact that I've done well...I've always had a sense of not belonging.

Prof Siona O'Connell, Professor at University of Pretoria's School of the Arts

O'Connell says while the decades have gone by, the impact of being forcibly removed still hits home for many of Harfield Village's former inhabitants.

Some people go back every week to look at their homes.

Prof Siona O'Connell, Professor at University of Pretoria's School of the Arts

They see stoeps and gates and the shapes of their houses that they recognise, but then they see other people going in, the sound of children who are not theirs.

Prof Siona O'Connell, Professor at University of Pretoria's School of the Arts

They feel unwelcome there.

Prof Siona O'Connell, Professor at University of Pretoria's School of the Arts

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Some people go back every week to look at their homes' - CPT's forced removals


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