The Rubicon Revisited: A Documentary Approach Re-examining Racial Identity Constructions in 1980s Apartheid South Africa

By Marc Kosciejew.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper argues that P.W. Botha’s constitutional reforms and, most importantly, his subsequent re-engineering of Apartheid's documentary apparatus, laid the foundation for a future non-racial state. By altering certain Apartheid documents, these reforms re-imagined South African identity as light-skinned, that is, for the first time nonwhite groups were recognized and considered a part of the nation. The effects that emerged from changes to the documentary apparatus opened up possibilities for racial cooperation. Although an enduring symbol of Apartheid, Botha permitted the earliest stages of racial integration while cracking the once rigid Apartheid edifice.

Keywords: Document, Documents, Documentary Apparatus, Apartheid, South Africa, P.W. Botha, Rubicon

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.77-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 542.197KB).

Marc Kosciejew

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Media and Information Studies, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

Marc Kosciejew is a PhD candidate in Library and Information Science at the University of Western Ontario. His research concentrates on the constitutive effects of documents and documentary practices, specifically focusing on the role played by Apartheid’s documentary apparatus in constructing South African identities.

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