“Refugee Housing without Exception” (with Kai Wood Mah)
South Africa experienced a recent wave of xenophobic violence in April 2015. Those fomenting violence were mostly Black Africans with South African citizenship targeting Africans from other parts of the continent. Between these attacks, and highly publicised attacks in 2008, South Africa’s government secretly devised plans to construct “model” camps to house migrants with refugee status and those seeking refugee status. The article seeks to understand the space of exception created by a Black government’s proposal considering South Africa’s colonial and apartheid past. This is done by firstly contextualising the South African case, secondly, placing this South African case within existing scholarship, and thirdly, problematising the government’s “model.” Beyond this, though, the article presents a conceptual camp design as counterproposal which highlights the power of design to negate spatial exception.