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South African Journal of Cultural History

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Urban black social life and leisure activities in Johannesburg, depicted by township art (1940s to 1970s)

S Eloff, K Sevenhuysen

Abstract


The aim of this article is to form a better understanding of life in black urban areas, using art that was created by black artists who lived and worked in Soweto and surrounding areas from the early 1940s up to the mid 1970s. These artists included Gerard Sekoto, Durant Sihlali and Ephraim Ngatane. Works created by these black artists will be analysed in order to formulate an idea of what life was like in the townships, especially the social life and leisure activities of the black inhabitants. An analysis of these works, which form part of Township Art, ought to introduce township life to the reader and serve as a doorway for further investigation. It may also provide readers and viewers of the art with some understanding of the sociology of urbanisation in the townships. This article will clearly emphasise the culturalhistorical value of Township Art.

Keywords: Durant Sihlali, Ephraim Ngatane, Gerard Sekoto, Johannesburg urban black townships, Soweto, Township Art, urban black leisure activities, urban black social life




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