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June Bam-Hutchison presents at the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation: Contested Histories in Public Spaces (Euroclio)

6 May 2021 - 09:45

Bam-Hutchison was invited to address practising history teachers from a number of countries globally on 4 May 2021. Her talk focused on the post-2015 'spectre' of Rhodes and its metaphor within the spatiality of the recent fire that devastated the African Studies Library and Collections. The talk included the story of the renaming of Jameson Hall and its implications for decolonising curricula and the ethos of educational spaces within a South African context. It emerged from the dialogue, that whilst people globally are aware of the renaming to Sarah Baartman Hall, they are little aware of the arguments raised about the renaming. Other discourse Bam-Hutchison led on was on myth-making and myth-perpetuating, which was considered as providing additional food-for-thought for history teachers. The question she raised of how much is myth and how much is reality, and its relation to the concept of 'cognitive justice' (Santos), drew a particular interest from scholars who participated - the concept is little reflected on within the context of the more familiar 'reparative justice'.