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In this particular series ‘Roadside Memorials’ I examine spontaneous shrines/private memorials as a ritualistic use of coping with death and I also explore their presence in the public space.

Over the years in Johannesburg and the rest of South Africa, just as in many other developing countries, increasing road accidents have resulted in the commemoration of the deceased. As a result a debate regarding the use of public space for private rituals is on the rise. This practice has resulted in increasing spontaneous shrines erupting randomly across the South African landscape.

Private rituals in public spaces have sparked an intense debate of whether roadside memorials and their place along the road are either distractions or warnings of danger for public spaces for people to be aware of. These private rituals, now in public spaces, have at times worked to diminish, in essence, shared public space.

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