The Not-so-Quiet Violence of Bricks and Mortar

  • Zen Marie


The Drill Hall is a historic site in the central business district of Johannesburg. While it has mostly been in sync with the wider development and history of the city, it has since 2004 been reimagined as a site for hosting a range of cultural organisations, charities and collectives. This chapter focuses on the Drill Hall and the resident arts collective Keleketla! to explore ideas of planned violence and city-making in the post-apartheid African metropolis. The chapter attempts to make links between direct violence and more abstract forms of planned violence. Central to this account is the question of the ability of creative arts processes to work as diagnostic and critically emancipatory tools. To what extent can the performative force of arts and cultural activism reimagine and make city space more humane in the face of increasingly neoliberal machinations? This case of the Drill Hall and Keleketla! offers an example of a city mobilising arts and culture in an attempt to achieve ‘world class’ status, but ultimately falling short of the ability to implement long-term and sustainable systems through structural and bureaucratic violence and the withdrawal of basic infrastructure such as water and electricity.


Drill Hall Artistic Creative Process Bureaucratic Violence Teen Talk South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zen Marie
    • 1
  1. 1.Wits UniversityJohannesburgSouth Africa

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