Through museum and shopping mall and the possibilities, subtleties, banalities and disparities of reconciliation in South Africa and Australia, this paper immerses itself in the question of pedagogies and in particular the pedagogies of reconciliation, public spaces and postcolonialism. In both Australia and South Africa postcolonialism as theory and pedagogy is ambiguously positioned especially in relation to issues of reconciliation which in turn is arguably also ambiguously located. Reconciliation is or has variously been state-sanctioned policy, project and agenda which, in part, is a process and practice of recognising and addressing histories of racism and its effects. Projects in both nations have included public, educational and schooling spheres and range, for instance, from the building of large-scale museums to self-initiated school and community projects. All of these involve ways of knowing and knowledge of the colonial past and a postcolonial present. Not insignificantly, they all involve the ways in which race, racism and postcolonialism are understood and represented. Central to this, the authors contend, is a necessity to bring into question the discursive practices of both racism and anti-racism particularly as they influence and shape new emerging modalities of anti-racism within postcolonial contexts and practices. The authors argue that an ability to analyse and deconstruct everyday spaces such as shopping malls is as integral to pedagogy as is a class excursion to a museum such as the Hector Pieterson or the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. Still further, they argue that postcolonial pedagogy is itself an artefact of fraught histories deeply informed by colonial origins, local specificities and contemporary strategies of remembrance.
Pedagogy, Culture and Society / Vol. 14, no. 3, pp.263-277