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Professor Natasha Erlank – Historical Studies – University of Johannesburg

This week we talk to Professor Natasha Erlank, former head of the Historical Studies Department at the University of Johannesburg in our first series for Heritage month. We discuss recent poignant moments in South African history for women, highlighting the country’s transition into democracy and the march of over 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in 1956 in protest against the pass laws. We note that recorded history is typically made by the victors, and the way in which events are remembered is influenced by who is in power. We consider how history is converted to heritage as artefacts (tangible or intangible) that humanity leaves for successive generations; and discuss institutional heritage, remarking for example, how the regular re-enactment of religious rituals transmits memory through institutional experience. With respect to equality we draw attention to the need for re-energise meaningful support of the gender movement both through civic society and the state. Tune in for more…

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