“Oor monnemente gepraat”: Die Campanile in Port Elizabeth
In this article we undertake a semiotic reading of the Campanile Clock Tower Monument in Port Elizabeth. The monument was built in 1920 to commemorate the arrival of the British Settlers in 1820. The theoretical departure of our analysis is the five narrative codes identified by Roland Barthes in his unconventional reading of Sarrasine. The article shows the extent to which the observer (reader?) is able to encode the monument with new textual possibilities as well as reading it against the grain within a new context. The original symbolism of the monument as a symbol of colonial enterprise and white English-speaking South African identity is also deconstructed in the process.
Keywords: Barthes, colonial monuments, readerly and writerly texts, semiotics.
Article text in Afrikaans