n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Loftus as Afrikaner heterotopia : the life world of rugbymentality

Volume 2012, Issue 19
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



The aim of this article is to explore the nature of contemporary Afrikaner identity philosophically through the of Loftus and the game, the spectacle, and the experience of rugby. I suggest that Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria is a heterotopia for many Afrikaners. The concept of heterotopia, as suggested by Foucault, represents a place where the ideas of utopia and dystopia exist alongside each other. An analysis of Loftus as heterotopia offers a number of novel insights about the place (both physical and mental) that the stadium represents. Loftus acts as a mirror to the lifeworld of Afrikaners, termed here as so-called 'rugbymentality' : Loftus reveals that Afrikaners have moved economically beyond apartheid, but that their political voice has become almost insignificant. Loftus represents the expression of this economic advance¬ment with simultaneous political regression. The result is an invented tradition and postcolonial nostalgia that reveal what it means to be an Afrikaner. Loftus and rugbymentality function as the attempt by Afrikaners either to insulate themselves () from post-apartheid South Africa, or to become part of the cultural mosaic of South Africa, which could both be expressed through achieving excellence in rugby.

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