‘We’re in it together!’, Heritage Day Walk through District Six, 23 September 2017

Artwork: Lionel Davis

“In 1969, my mother and neighbours were all removed from District Six. I only saw the end of forced removals after my house arrest ended in 1976. Only after that was I allowed to go back to District Six, because I was not allowed to come anywhere near Cape Town during my house arrest order.”

The unique journey and life story of former District Sixer, ex-Robben Island political prisoner and artist, Lionel Davis, captured our imagination for this year’s Heritage Day programme.

Born in District Six on 21 June 1936 Davis is described by many as an activist, storyteller and cultural worker, but his contribution to the South African art community and civic organisations exemplifies selflessness and determination against all odds.

A retrospective exhibition of Davis’ artwork entitled Gathering Strands was recently curated by the District Six Museum in partnership with Iziko Museums, and opened in June this year on his 81st birthday at the National Gallery. It runs until 1 October 2017.

As an insider making art about District Six, Lionel Davis created a ‘space’ for reconnection – sharing with us his intimate relationships with people and the spirit of place. Through his work he reminds us not about what was lost but rather how to remember, and about the ordinary things that matter.

For Heritage Day we have developed a site walk retracing Davis’ footsteps – based on a series of pencil drawings and watercolours that he recorded of popular District Six landmarks, buildings and streets before it was demolished. Drawing our inspiration from his Masquerade art series, which was influenced by his strong connection to his slave ancestry, the klopse carnival and African traditional mask making traditions, the procession will feature painted masks, puppets and textile handcrafted banners produced by ex-residents, youth, artists and community members. It will be accompanied by voices of poets and the musical rhythms of the klopse, Christmas and Malay Choir Bands.

Join us!

Date: Saturday, 23 September 2017

Start: 10h00, Lydia Williams Centre for Memory, Chapel Street

[old CAP and old St Philip’s School building]

SEPTEMBER SUPPER CLUB

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Image:Trudy Rushin and Wayne Bosch

Following on from our wonderful August storyteller is another Cape Town musician, Trudy Rushin!

Trudy Rushin has been a teacher for most of her adult life. Her love for music evolved into a parallel career, and she has somehow managed to find a balance between the two worlds.  As an active musician, she sings, plays guitar, writes songs and performs, both as a soloist and in collaborations. With a strong preference for the duo format, she has worked extensively in duos with guitarists Keith Tabisher (since 2003) and Wayne Bosch (since 2008). In 2011, she met Errol Dyers and realised a dream when she performed a concert of her original work with him at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre (2014).

Trudy sees music as an intrinsic part of her value system, and believes that its transformative power, especially in the lives of the youth, is an untapped resource in present-day South Africa.  She is currently the CSI Project Coordinator for Survé Philanthropies, where she works on projects, like The Delft Big Band and World’s Children’s Prize.

Listen here to some of Trudy’s original music.

The cost is R150 and includes a 3 course meal (vegetarian option available).

We start at 18h00, District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street.

The perfect way to end off the working month!

Please RSVP with Chantal de Lillie at reception@districtsix.co.za or call 021 466 7200.

 

‘THE STORIES WE TELL’

District Six Museum Symposium

19 – 21 October 2017

Registration opens: Monday, 18 September 2017

Photographer: Paul Grendon

‘It is the storyteller who makes us who we are, who creates history.

The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have – otherwise their surviving would have no meaning.’’ 

Chinua Achebe

District Six Museum has been one of the main advocates for promoting storytelling as a tool for healing, knowledge-making, activism, education, community-building and personal growth – and its ever-expanding oral history archive bears testimony to that.

Storytelling has always been at the heart of the Museum’s work since it started. They have not all been easy to tell or to listen to. They have been mixtures of pain and joy, loss and reclamation, about longing for lost homes and desires for return.

Storytelling has also become a fashionable business tool. High-end storytelling retreats generate good income for entrepreneurs, and many businesses are using storytelling techniques to brand their products. While not denying its validity in these other contexts, we have felt the need to reassert the power of storytelling as practiced and facilitated by the Museum and other partners, as distinct from storytelling in these other contexts. We have felt the need to reflect on the challenges which we face in dealing with the multi-dimensional stories of our country which have some elements of uniqueness. We also need to draw on lessons learnt from practitioners who might not have had the opportunity to reflect on their own practices.

This 3-day symposium will take place in two main venues: Guga S’thebe Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa, and the District Six Museum’s Homecoming Centre in Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. It will include presentations, discussions, workshop sessions, site walks and panel discussions.

If you would like to receive more information about the programme and how to register, please email Ms Eunice Christians on districtsixmuseum.info@gmail.com

Registrations open on Monday 18 September 2017.

 

 

 

 

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Supper Club with ZELDA BENJAMIN @ District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

Valentine Zelda_cropped

Zelda Benjamin is this month’s Supper Club guest at the Museum’s Supper Club on Thursday 31 August. In an oral history interview conducted by the Museum’s sound archive several years ago, Ms Benjamin recalls how she first became aware of her love of jazz when listening to records at her aunt’s home. Growing up in District Six, she remembers how she and a group of her friends would spend Saturday afternoons improvising with music and through this process she discovered her own singing voice.

Although she trained as a nurse, Zelda managed to find the time to sign on stage and at club gigs. One of her earliest performances was at the Naaz. She says: “I very bravely got up and walked to the microphone and started to sing ‘It might as well be spring’ and ‘Delilah’ … the one that Nat King Cole sings.” She received a glowing review from a reporter from The Post and a Mr Parker invited her to perform every Saturday. She sang in a dance band called The Ray Johnson Quartet; she appeared as a guest artist on the African Jazz Variety and the African Follies with Mariam Makeba and Thandi Klaasen.

Many more venues were blessed with Zelda’s heartwarming performances, and it is an honour for the Museum to be welcoming her as our August – Women’s Month – guest.

JOIN ZELDA AS SHE SHARES HER MUSICAL JOURNEY ON THURSDAY 31 AUGUST @ 18h00, at the DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM HOMECOMING CENTRE, 15 Buitenkant Street. 

Tickets are R 150 and can be booked by calling or emailing Chantal Delilie on 021 4667200 or reception@districtsix.co.za

MENU

Welcome drink and samoosas for starters

Lamb OR beans curry (vegetarian) with rice

Apple pie with custard for dessert

Koesisters for afters served with coffee or tea

BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL!

(With thanks to Jazz on the Vlei for supplying the image)

phefumla! (breathe!)

phefumla (breathe!) is a travelling exhibition of the artwork produced during the inaugural Open Forum residency at Stellenbosch University in October 2016. The artwork included in the exhibition is a combination of sculpture, photography, sound installation and documentary film. The exhibition education programme consists of a roundtable dialogue and workshop with student activists, art students, Open Forum artists and high school learners.

Partner organizations:

District Six Museum, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education and The Goethe Institute.

 

Selected Work:

  1. Sami Maseko, Perspective Gained, Live Performance + photographic documentation.
  2. Grace Peterson, Silencing Me, System!, Live Performance  + photographic documentation.
  3. Retha Ferguson, Photographic prints x 5 A2.
  4. Stephanie Conradie, The Dustbin, A2 Digital Print  +  100 pamphlets.
  5. Nicolene Burger, Flight, Sculpture (3x2m) + video projection.
  6. Isabel Mertz, Rust, 2 A5 Sketchbooks and metal plates x 3 + video projection.
  7. ITAP, Installation incl Sound, photographs, drawings, digital prints.
  8. YazeedKamaldien, FMF documentary.
  9. Vasiki: Mike Mavura + KhanyisileMbongwa, We Are the Beautiful Ones: Dreams and Secrets, sound Installation.
  10. Thato Phatlane, Chaos the Pursuit of Peace, Suspended paper Installation.
  11. Maria Garcia, Photographs x 9
  12. Tshepo Modiri, Photographs x 2
  13. Timothy Oduwole, Photographs x 2

phefumla! opens at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre on Tuesday 25 April at 6pm and will be open to the public until 4 May. Opening hours are 9h00 – 16h00 every day except Sundays. Admission to the exhibition is free of charge.

District Six Museum is recruiting

Districtsixmuseum

DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM JOB ADVERTISEMENTS

Do you want to be part of a cutting edge heritage institution? Would you like to join a dynamic and creative staff team who are committed to telling the story of forced removals in Cape Town and South Africa, and exploring contemporary legacies? If you are passionate about these issues and if you have the following skills, you should consider coming to work for the District Six Museum.

The following positions are available:

1. OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR
Purpose of job:                 
To oversee and support the general operations of the Museum.

Key responsibilities include:
Managing the switchboard;

Managing visitor bookings which include schools, universities, tourists, dignitaries and special interest delegations;

Managing the various events of the Museum;

Providing general administrative support to the various functions of the Museum which includes managing the database of contacts.

Requirements:
A knowledge-base equivalent to a post-matric qualification in office administration or office management;

A minimum of 5 years experience of working in a similar position;

Some experience of working with the public;

Computer literacy, especially a knowledge of MS Office suite of programmes;

Experience with developing and maintaining administrative systems.

 

2.  SOUND ARCHIVE TECHNICAL ASSISTANT
Purpose of job:
To provide technical support to the Collections, Research and Documentation department, particularly to the audiovisual archive.

Key responsibilities include:
Digitising audio, video and photographic m
aterial from various formats
Making public copies of audiovisual archival material
Assisting with public access to the archive
Maintaining audiovisual equipment
Assisting with cataloguing and documentation of the collection
Assisting with audiovisual set-ups and documentation at events and programmes

Requirements:
A post-matric qualification or equivalent, in audio, video or photographic work
At least three years experience of working in a similar environment
Knowledge of relevant software
Computer literacy: Windows and/or Mac

How to apply?
Submit CV with two written references for attention of Nicky Ewers, to nicky@districtsix.co.za, or hand deliver to the front desk of the Museum for the attention of Nicky Ewers.

Closing date:

FRIDAY 21 APRIL 2017

Jazz Jams @ District Six Museum

Monday Jazz Jams MARCH 2017

District Six Museum in partnership with the Alvin Dyers trio, invites you to the inaugural Jazz Jams session for 2017, on Monday 3 April at 18h30.

Alvin Dyers needs very little introduction. He is an acclaimed guitarist, a teacher of music and a motivator of young people. The other two members of the trio – Roy Davids on drums and Valentino ‘Tino’ Europa on bass – are also musical masters in their own right, and are equally committed to providing an empowering space for youth with an interest and ability in music.

The Jazz Jams concept has youth education at its core, and will provide an opportunity for emerging young musicians to perform onstage alongside accomplished jazz artists. The youth performers will be drawn from existing music development programmes and also, very importantly, from the young people who will be recruited into the District Six Museum’s young musicians project under the guidance and tutelage of Alvin Dyers.

This is both formal music education and a means to engage youth in meaningful activity with lifelong, life-changing benefits. For example, the process of learning to read and create music has been proven to enhance overall brain function in both comprehension and concentration. In addition, the discipline required for successful music performance will extend to other areas of life. Music also provides an awakening to a colourful world of awareness and emotion.

District Sixer Joe Schaffers, also well-known in musical circles, is the Jazz Jams host.

The cover charge will go towards the running costs of the performances, and further sponsorships in cash and kind will be sought to cover other costs such as materials for the teaching sessions, musical instruments, and transport.

Jazz Jams takes place at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street. There is a cover charge of R 50 per person and light refreshments will be on sale. Bookings: 021 4667200 or reception@districtsix.co.za

 

 

Film Screening: Mr Table Tennis

Thursday, 23rd March 2017

6pm – 8pm (5pm for meet and greet over snacks)

District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

https://goo.gl/maps/ZBW9aEx5DTL2

SYNOPSIS
Mr Table Tennis is the inter-generational story of Pedro and Cody Meyer. Their big dreams unfold against an ambiguous socio-economic climate that determines the choices they make in life and in table tennis.

Pedro Meyer was a brilliant table tennis player and a showman. Living under apartheid meant he was unable to test his game on the international stage. Today he has placed his dreams of world domination in his grandson, Cody.

Growing up in the New South Africa, Cody has been able to travel and compete internationally and he knows his family would like him to continue where his grandfather left off.

Cody is torn between pursuing his new passion, DJing, and table tennis, which is in his blood.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: TINA-LOUISE SMITH – accidentalfilms.co.za
Tina-Louise Smith has worked as director and series director on documentary, educational and entertainment television programmes for SABC 1, 2 and 3 since 2001.

She directed the following short films: African Queen (2012); Cape Town is not For Me (2011); Framed (2011); I Want To Be A Teapot (2011); My Cape Town (2010); and Looking Back At Leeuwenhof Road (2005).

Through Accidental Films and TV, which she founded in 2010, Tina-Louise produced and directed Mr Table Tennis (2015), an inter-generational documentary about a family’s dreams of table tennis domination within our ever-changing socio-economic context. Mr Table Tennis had its world premiere at the Encounters 18th South African International Documentary Festival in 2016 where it received the bronze Audience Award for Best South African Documentary. Mr Table Tennis is owned by the SABC.

Tina-Louise also produced and directed Engender (2015), a 3-part feminist TV show for Cape Town TV (CTV). She is currently developing The Medium. The Message. (Working title), a documentary film about community TV in South Africa. She is also fundraising for a short fiction film, The Time It Takes, that explores our expectations of women around having children.

Read more:
The link to the trailer: https://vimeo.com/151489917
A review of the film: http://accidentalfilms.co.za/mr-table-tennis-film-review/
A blog post about working on the film by the Production Co-ordinator on the film: http://accidentalfilms.co.za/my-first-film/
A blog post about working on the film by the Director: http://accidentalfilms.co.za/working-on-mr-table-tennis/

REMEMBERING 11 FEBRUARY 1966

Fifty-one years since the declaration of District Six a White Group Area

‘DISTRICT SIX: BIG SHAKE-UP IN PLANS FOR CITY.
Proclamation a shock’ read the headlines of The Cape Argus City Late edition on Friday, February 11 in 1966.

The article, written by a staff reporter for the newspaper, anticipated a number of issues that the city is still dealing with as part of apartheid’s legacy. It foresees, amongst other things:

  •  ‘A huge increase in the city’s already overloaded housing burden;
  •  … the creation of transport problems for a much larger commuter population.’It also refers to the government having ‘created new prospects for White expansion on the fringe of the city’s central business district’ – all issues which we are still facing even today.
  • It also refers to the government having ‘created new prospects for White expansion on the fringe of the city’s central business district’ – all issues which we are still facing even today.

The annual walk of remembrance has become an important activity on the calendar of former District Sixers, and others who are committed to actively remembering the past in ways which inspire us to think of a new way of being citizens.

The commemoration has all the hallmarks of the District Six Museum’s methodology: it is participatory, performative, it references the past and energises thinking about the future. Very importantly, it is a constant reminder that restitution should run much deeper than being a housing project. In addition to the important return to the land, it involves the return of dignity, the affirmation of rights, the assertion of cultural identity as well as respect for valuable local knowledge. It is a reminder that the past really does matter.

The community has been advocating for the declaration of District Six as a National Heritage Site. Join the call to fast-track the statutory process of declaration by pledging your support on this day. Join the call, too, to remember apartheid displacements from other areas around our country.

d6streetsign1capeargus8feb17d6streetsign2

The centre pic is from the front page of the Cape Argus, 8 February 2017.

“My Grandmother, Mabel Isobel Hutton (AKA Ma, Aunty Bell or Mrs Hutton) Unless we acknowledge our past,…” CECILÉ-ANN PEARCE

http://onthecouchwithca.blogspot.co.za/…/exiled-flight…Exiled – The Flight Out of District Six

The walk of remembrance starts at the District Six Museum, 25 Buitenkant Street, at 11h00 on Saturday 11 February. The walk will proceed with replicated District Six street signs, to Keisersgracht to line the street in a few moments of silence, interspersed with a few surprise performances along the way. Youth involved in our Art in Public Places – an archival photography project – will display their work to mark the site of remembrance. The programme will end at 13h30 at the Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street with some light refreshments.