oa Alternation - A Semiotic response to space in South Africa: indigenous rock art and colonial travelogues as Marginal 'Writing on the Earth'?

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



The notion of spatiality, examined in terms of the different ways in which people respond to the geographic space around them, is a central issue in current postcolonial studies. A variety of semiotic systems record these different forms of engagement with the land, thus linking culture and nature in ways that are inherently relational and contextual. In South Africa these semiotic formations are especially significant in the context of our history of colonisation, contested borders, and in the more recent Apartheid past, of urban migrations and forced removals of people from the land. As a semiotic response to space, these systems also merit special focus as regards the problematic issue of land (re)distribution.

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