Keywords:Hidden Pretoria, Book review, Pretoria, South Africa
What an experience it was to have reviewed this book during lockdown – being lured to so many Pretoria places, some which I know and others which would have been quite inaccessible to the local tourist even if there had not been health-related restric-tions on our movements. On the other hand, none of the places in this book are, in fact, ‘visitable’ at all, except in the imagination, because these images are not “the real”. They are too poised and delectably mediated to be matched by any embodied experience in actual time. The forgone past which so many of them invoke, only exists in the historical consciousness of those they entice to wonder. To wonder – in every semantic sense of the word … that is indeed what this book accomplishes. It pierces our visuality, or established world-view, and infuses it with new ways of seeing. In a sense, this book is a guide to reconfiguring a visual landscape – a decolonial one, if one wishes, because the reconfiguration entails the de-assembling of staid and fixed impressions and the rearrangement of old beliefs based on newly revealed and newly-considered (old) information.