TIME LINES

This shelf holds a reproduction of each one of the over 3000 index cards cataloguing every map of Africa that exists in the Harold Strange Africana Library in the Johannesburg City Library. The index is stored in card cabinets, which are ordered according to region and chronologically. When the index cards are presented as a chronological list (or time-line), they present a succinct history of the colonisation of Southern Africa and the displacement of its people.

In their order, they begin indexing the first maps of the Cape made by early Dutch explorers. As the index moves along in time, so too does it move inland, charting the movements of European settlers in the country and on the continent. More recently, maps reflect Apartheid spatial geography. Index cards name maps that designate certain areas as black townships. The conflation of time and geography in the ordering structure of this index speaks to the politics of cartography in Africa, which is so closely aligned colonialism.

2015. The Point of Order, Johannesburg.

Wooden shelf with index cards

1800mm x 100mm x 150mm.