Brittany Birberick ~ Rocca Dissertation Research ~ AY 2018/2019

Fellowship Period: 
Academic Year
Fellowship Year: 
Project/Theme Title: 
Sight of the Factory: Eluding Success and Failure in Jeppestown, South Africa
The dissertation project focuses primarily on a single street in Jeppestown, a peri-urban area to the east of Johannesburg’s city center. Jeppestown is portrayed as either on its way to becoming a site of redevelopment by the Johannesburg Development Agency, artists, and private developers, or a crime ridden area and hotbed of Zulu ethnic-nationalism—an area that will either successfully be re-developed or descend into further dilapidation, violence, and crime. The research examines the factory spaces that remain and how they are being remade in this liminal space. These factory spaces are key sites of urbanization and development in Johannesburg at a moment in which local and global social and economic forces are influencing a re-conceptualization of the colonial and apartheid structure of the city. My work examines the multiple temporalities and flows of materials that define this area in a moment of transformation – allowing for a more nuanced understanding of what is recognized as a failed or successful urban space and the economies that accompany that space.
Award Duration: 
AY 2018/2019