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Sights of Freedom: Malombo and the Sounds of Resistance

This studio drew inspiration from Ernest Cole’s House of Bondage, which exposes the brutality of apartheid’s racial capitalism. Published in 1966, the book was immediately banned in South Africa, and Cole went into exile in Harlem, New York City.

The aim of the proposal is to understand the emotional charge of space and reflect on how to use architecture as a tool of reparation. The main instigation comes from Ernest Cole’s sensitivity, the power of evoking feelings, and the Black Ingenuity chapter, which displays images of joy, culture, and expression within the context of repression. Cole has registered many musicians, in particular the Malombo group.

The proposal dissects the sounds of resistance and their role in the struggle against apartheid. It unfolds the story of the Malombo group and their three original members: Phillip Tabane, Julian Bahula, and Cindy Abbey. Dialogue and thoughts are materialized in the form of a publication, reflecting on its importance in fostering awareness and equity.