At Home with Apartheid

By Rebecca Ginsburg,

Book cover of At Home with Apartheid: The Hidden Landscapes of Domestic Service in Johannesburg

Book description

Despite their peaceful, bucolic appearance, the tree-lined streets of South African suburbia were no refuge from the racial tensions and indignities of apartheid's most repressive years. In At Home with Apartheid, Rebecca Ginsburg provides an intimate examination of the cultural landscapes of Johannesburg's middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods during the height…

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Why read it?

1 author picked At Home with Apartheid as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

OK this book is not about the United States but Rebecca Ginsburg’s incredibly nuanced investigation of the domestic landscape in apartheid South Africa should be required reading for anyone thinking about embodied experience and architecture. Houses built in the twentieth century for White families in suburban Johannesburg featured small rectangular rooms in the back yard for Black domestic workers. Using interviews, site visits, and compassionate storytelling, Ginsburg pieces together the daily rhythms for women who woke up outside, “came in the dark,” and learned the “tempo of kitchen life,” to borrow two of her provocative chapter titles. When people possessing…

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