Dealing with interwoven memories and histories: some perspectives in conversation with William Kentridge’s "History of the Main Complaint"

Helené Van Tonder


The article discusses the notion of memory and history as interwoven phenomena. It was originally presented towards the end of a conference on “The Reformed Churches and the struggle for Justice in South Africa: Remembering 1960-1990.” The article highlights certain characteristics of the project in order to situate it within a broader project of memory-work. It then continues to discuss an artwork of William Kentridge, History of the Main Complaint, to illuminate various levels on which memory and history as interwoven phenomena might be understood. Finally, memory and history are discussed as being interwoven phenomena with regards to its crushing or curing abilities, temporality, topics it deals with, and those who remember.


Memory; History; Interwoven memories; Remembering; Reformed churches

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ISSN 2226-2385 (online); ISSN 0028-2006 (print)

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