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Forced Removal

Sam Nhlengethwa
Forced Removal, 2016

This lithograph forms part of a series of works that deal with memorialising past events that define and epitomise historical South African political discourses, in order to illustrate the underpinnings and foundations of present activist efforts. The work depicts a cover of "Drum", the famous magazine that ran from 1951 and which was responsible for exploring the zeitgeist of the 1950s and 1960s. "Drum" has come to symbolise the sense of abandonment that Black Johannesburg citizens experienced at the height of apartheid, the ramifications of which can still be felt in the present. Underlying the images is the narrative of identity and citizenship articulated through dynamic ideas on belonging, equality and universality. In a 2017 interview with TimesLIVE, Nhlengethwa notes; "When we were growing up, Drum was the magazine for culture, music, politics and sports. We got an education about the continent - and about us [as black people] - through Drum. So I thought, 'Let me take the nation down memory lane’.”