Drum magazine project: A decolonial shift in teaching fashion theory and history

A decolonial shift in teaching fashion theory and history

Authors

  • Khaya Mchunu University of Johannesburg
  • Kiara Gounder Durban University of Technology

Keywords:

Decolonial fashion discourse, Drum magazine, Fashion history, Fashion theory

Abstract

The Drum Magazine Project is a cross-institutional teaching and research project designed to explore a decolonial approach to teaching fashion theory and history. The project used the 1950s and 1960s archives of Drum magazine, found at Bailey's African History Archives (BAHA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Fashion was considered by looking at South Africa's political, social, and cultural landscape during the 1950s and 1960s. Students wrote biographical essays based on individuals who, despite having been featured in Drum magazine, were not widely documented in South Africa. Essay writing was followed by developing magazine covers designed to capture themes related to these individuals. The text- and visual-based modes enabled students to deploy historical media archives using fashion and dress to communicate narratives of alternative fashion histories and imaginaries. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to analyse students' impressions of the magazine, the individuals they researched and the overall project. In some instances, students expressed the view that incorporating this part of South African history into fashion curricula can be uncomfortable but that addressing history in its fullness is necessary to achieve decolonial imperatives and shifts. For these reasons, this study contributes to the decolonial fashion discourse by showing how infusing context-specific examples in teaching and learning offers options for renewing, stretching, and decentering the teaching of fashion theory and history.    

 

Sewsunker’ Papwa’ Sewgolum-informed students’ photographs.

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Published

30-05-2024

How to Cite

Mchunu, K., & Gounder , K. (2024). Drum magazine project: A decolonial shift in teaching fashion theory and history : A decolonial shift in teaching fashion theory and history . DISCERN: International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 5(1), 88–101. Retrieved from https://www.designforsocialchange.org/journal/index.php/DISCERN-J/article/view/162