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The edible museum : exploring foodways as sociomuseological practice in Kayamandi, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Costandius, Elmarie Vogts, Elsa 2018-04-05T07:57:21Z 2018-04-05T07:57:21Z 2017 2018 2017 2017-12-06
dc.description.abstract Food is one of the most fundamental aspects related to human well-being. The ways in which food moves through community social systems, through foodways, are implicated in complex networks of privilege and marginalisation, and are marked by sensory encounters. Sociomuseology places the well-being of communities, and by implication cross-cultural tolerance and understanding, at the forefront of its approach to meaning making. Sociomuseology could be a transformative museological practice through which to explore sensory encounters as experienced through foodways, as it seeks to make meaning of the complexity of these encounters towards community well-being. Such a practice could be especially relevant in the context of South Africa, where tensions between cultural cohesion and xenophobic violence have contributed to disenchantment with the democratic project of the “Rainbow Nation”. To this end, the purpose of this research undertaking was to examine and document the foodways of the Kayamandi township, within its specific context as a marginalised community in post-apartheid South Africa, through a sociomuseological practice entitled the “Edible Museum”. Sensory theory, posthumanism and sociomuseology formed the theoretical framework through which the study was conducted. I followed an interpretive approach, informed by sensory ethnography and a diffractive methodology, in implementing an action research design, which consisted of group and individual interviews with participants based in Kayamandi. The study found that foodways are implicated in a direct way in the tension between the ambition of cultural cohesion and misunderstanding of others as it emerges in the context of Kayamandi and broader Stellenbosch. The ability of food to speak through a sensory and embodied language was observed to highlight the ways in which people interacted with each other, especially across cultural boundaries. Moreover, the ability of food to engage with disruption, through the senses, and the way in which this disruption could be positively mediated through sociomuseological interactions, was found to be key. It is through sensory disruptions that are enacted towards bodily transformations that foodways can be enlisted towards the facilitation of potential crosscultural exchange through a museological mediation, which speaks in an embodied language. The proposition of the Edible Museum thus functions as a sociomuseological approach that could be followed towards the facilitation of cross-cultural tolerance and understanding through making sensory meaning of Stellenbosch University iii foodways. The Edible Museum is also a process that can critique and transform the museological practices of those museums that struggle to remain relevant in a post-apartheid, and I would argue, posthuman, context where the necessity for cross-cultural tolerance and understanding through alternative modalities and knowledge systems is revealed. This study has therefore contributed to the expansion of dialogue concerning cross-cultural interaction and tolerance in the museological and food studies fields, through the novel perspective of a sensory approach to foodways.
dc.description.sponsorship National Research Foundation en_US
dc.format.extent 266 p. en_US
dc.format.medium PDF en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Stellenbosch University en_US
dc.relation.requires Adobe Acrobat Reader en_US
dc.relation.uri en_US
dc.rights Stellenbosch University en_US
dc.subject foodways as sociomuseological practice - South Africa - Kyamandi en_US
dc.subject food - social aspects en_US
dc.title The edible museum : exploring foodways as sociomuseological practice in Kayamandi, South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Stellenbosch University en_US
dc.contributor.orcid 0000-0002-9429-3267 en_US

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