Thursday, May 17, 2007

The white and black sands of the Durban Beachfront

In the chapter, The white and black sands of the Durban Beachfront, Wesley Oakes and Binium Misgun argue that the beach is not just a space for people to unwind and be their ‘natural’ selves, but a place where identity work proceeds, with ‘race’ very much to the fore. They investigate the informal post-apartheid racialisation of sand, showing how South Beach—the beach with the best facilities—became black, like the City centre. And just as whites moved away to the suburbs, they also moved from South Beach to the North. They examine how whites & blacks who go to North Beach construct it as safe, clean and white in relation to dirty, dangerous and black South Beach. They argue that these racial constructs intersect with class.

Misgun, Biniam, and Oakes, Wesley. 'The white and black sands of the Durban Beachfront', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 118-125.