Author: Camille Ringrose

Extraction and Spatial Inequality in a Divided City

Studio: ARCS 5106 – MArch Option Studio 2 – Divided Cities

Professor: Ozayr Saloojee 

Year: Winter 2020

Project Description

Through mapping, technological and narrative representation, this project reflects on the subterranean world of Johannesburg; the city of gold. An analysis of extraction processes reveals the subsequent spatial implications within economic systems, trade, transportation and physical landscape. Corresponding ‘tools’ shape spatial boundaries and infrastructure throughout the city. The section speculates on the systemic influence garnered by historical power structures; the institutions and symbols that continue to embed themselves in the landscape. A conceptual representation depicts a dystopian Johannesburg where the surface world has deteriorated, yet spaces of ‘underground exchange’ remain present in the terrain, existing in foundations of policy and repression. The composition journeys through the physical embodiment of colonial symbolism above grade (the Rand Club), to a clandestine descent into the conceptual layer of influence; represented as symbols of broken nostalgia (10 Downing, the Pantheon, Cecil Rhodes etc.), and finally through to the mining tunnels in the deep.