DISTRICT SIX SUPPER CLUB 2019

2019_03_28-SUPPER CLUB WITH KHARNITA MOHAMED2019 Theme: ‘Finding Voices’

With its origin story firmly located in the practice of oral narratives, the District Six Museum is often described as an entity which ‘gives voice’ to people who have been rendered voiceless. Most times the people being referred to are those who have been displaced under Apartheid.

While acknowledging the affirmation that might be intended by that perspective, we self-identify somewhat differently, always believing that people have voices and express themselves regardless of whether organisations such as the District Six Museum exist or not. We see ourselves more on the level of creating opportunities for listening, and offering platforms for the existing voices of people to be heard, amplified and supported. It seeks out stories that are already in circulation, in order to strengthen its own understandings of what it means to be a platform for multiple and even discordant voices.

The difference might seem trite and subtle, but it is an important one which keeps us from speaking on behalf of people and usurping their voices. Hence, this 2019 theme signals our conscious attempt to actively find different voices.

The District Six Museum Supper Club is entering its fifth year of existence. It flowed from an exploration of the many ways in which ‘homecoming’ could be practically interpreted in actualising the intention of the Homecoming Centre. The common symbolism of community and sharing inherent in the idea of tables is referenced here: round-tables, ‘sitting around the table together’, the long-table concept, combined with the Cape Town practice of ‘gooi ‘n tafel’. This literally, means ‘throw a table’ (as in ‘throw a party’) and is particularly familiar to people from District Six and the Bo Kaap. It references the tables that were laid out by families  for Christmas Choirs, Malay Choirs and Minstrels during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.  Laden with seasonal fruit like watermelon as well as pastries and cakes, the tafels were decidedly celebratory, signalling the culmination of the year-long preparation of rehearsals, voice-training and costume-making.

Tables are thus evocative symbols for the District Six community representing coming together, sharing, arguing, breaking bread and storytelling around a common space. Tables also reference the intimate family rituals around food, work and religion that were performed in District Six homes before destruction, on a daily basis.

The District Six Museum’s Supper Club concept emerged from a desire to create opportunities for conversations of all kinds: enlightening, entertaining, philosophical, lyrical, visual or performative. It is intended to bring people together who might ordinarily not have met, and also create opportunities for friends to meet up with each other. It aims to contribute to a culture which encourages the expression of different points of view in a space which is contained and supportive.

Past Supper Club storytellers have been very diverse. They have included Diana Ferrus, Prof Njabulo Ndebele, Ernestine Deane, Terry Fortune, Basil Appollis, Trevor Jones, Auriol Hayes, George Hallett, Tina Schouw, Jitsvinger and Fatima Dike and Prof Saths Cooper, amongst others.

Storytellers are invited to share their stories in whichever  way they wish, and guests attending the session are invited to listen and to later engage in conversations with the storyteller and with each other. Conversations continue over supper and dessert. Hopefully friendships and engagements will continue beyond the evening.

The 2019 iteration of the Supper Club series  is called ‘Finding Voices.’

March Supper Club

Date:                  Thursday 28 March 2019

Time:                 18h00 – 20h30

Cost:                   R 150

                             (payments can be made by EFT, Quicket, cash or credit car)

Bookings:         Email Matthew Nissen- researcher@districtsix.co.za

                             Call: Chantal Delilie – -21 4667200

Guest:                Kharnita Mohamed

Kharnita Mohamed lectures in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town and is working on a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape. She has an MA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Raised on the Cape Flats, she is frequently confounded by the contradictions of post-Apartheid South Africa. She has written her first novel, ‘Called to Song’.

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Interactive discussion (2): the South Africa we all want to live in

Paarl Dialogue

MEDIA RELEASE

INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION IN PAARL ON THE SOUTH AFRICA WE ALL WANT TO LIVE IN

Members of the public, especially those involved in non-governmental and community organisations, are invited to the Library at Paarl Boys High, Paarl, on Thursday 14 March 2019 to discuss what they would want in a future South Africa.

The event, hosted by Radio KC, the Community Chest of the Western Cape, the District Six Museum and the One City, Many Cultures Project, follows a similar discussion at the District Six Homecoming Centre in February where it was decided to broaden the discussion to towns around the Western Cape.

The discussion, facilitated by media expert Ryland Fisher and Bonita Bennett, director of the District Six Museum, will reverse the traditional trend of panel discussions. The discussion will start with inputs from the floor and invited respondents in the audience will be allowed to comment at the end. This is to ensure that more people are able to participate in the discussion within the limited time allocated.

“We started with a discussion on the role of NGOs in an election year and followed this up with a discussion on the South Africa we all want to live in. It became clear that we needed to take this discussion outside of the Cape Town metropolitan area,” said Community Chest CEO Lorenzo Davids.

The District Six Museum’s Bennett added: “We want to know from a range of people what are the issues we want government to deal with. How do we interact with government in a way that will help them achieve a more equitable society? How do we fix the many things that are wrong in our country so that we can all look forward to a better and more positive future? What do we want the country we live in to look like?

“We will bring together a group of people who are interested in taking forward the vision of a more equitable society irrespective of political affiliation. Our aim is not to point fingers at anyone but to help in the search for solutions.”

Radio KC Chairperson, Dr. Harlan Cloete said that the discussions were important to ensure proper democracy in our country. “Our democracy is incomplete, and these conversations will give effect to participatory democracy. We will make a concerted effort to ensure that the young people, who are the future, attend.”

Fisher said that after all the dialogues – the final one will be in June, after the elections – the organisers intend to draw up a report that will be circulated to senior politicians and municipalities throughout South Africa to give them an idea of the views of ordinary South Africans.

The Paarl dialogue will be the second in the “South Africa We Want” series. It will be followed by one in Stellenbosch on Tuesday 19 March.

Lights snacks will be served before and after the discussion. For catering purposes, RSVP to reception@districtsix.co.za.

The event details in summary:

Event: Interactive discussion on the South Africa we all want to live in

Hosted by: Radio KC, District Six Museum, the Community Chest of the Western Cape and One City, Many Cultures Project

When: Thursday 14 March 2019

Where: Library, Paarl Boys High, Paarl

Time: 5.30pm for 6pm until 8pm

For more information, contact Ryland Fisher (rylandfisher@mweb.co.za or 082 800 5326), Bonita Bennett (bonita@districtsix.co.za or 021 466 7200) or Lorenzo Davids (ldavids@comchest.org.za or 021 487 1500)

Interactive Discussion The South Africa we all want to live in

Interactive Discussion Social Media Post_19 Feb .png

Members of the public, especially those involved in non-governmental and community organisations, are invited to the District Six Homecoming Centre next Tuesday night (19 February 2019) to discuss what they would want in a future South Africa.

The event, hosted by Community Chest, the District Six Museum and the One City Many Cultures Project, follows on a recent discussion about the role of NGOs in an election year where it was clear that there was a need for a broader, more interactive discussion.

The discussion, facilitated by media expert Ryland Fisher and Bonita Bennett, director of the District Six Museum, will reverse the traditional trend of panel discussions. The discussion will start with inputs from the floor and invited respondents in the audience will be allowed to comment at the end. This is to ensure that more people are able to participate in the discussion within the limited time allocated.

“After the success of our previous panel discussion, held in January and where we explored the role of NGOs in an election year, it was decided that we needed to broaden the topic to look at what we want from the government that we will elect in a few months’ time,” said Community Chest CEO Lorenzo Davids.

Bennett added: “We want to know from ordinary people what are the issues we want government to deal with. How do we interact with government in a way that will help them achieve a more equitable society? How do we fix the many things that are wrong in our country so that we can all look forward to a better and more positive future? What do we want the country we live in to look like?

“We will bring together a group of people who are interested in taking forward the vision of a more equitable society irrespective of political affiliation. Our aim is not to point fingers at anyone but to help in the search for solutions.”

Fisher said that at the end of all the dialogues – the final one will be after the elections – the organisers intend to draw up a report that will be circulated to senior politicians and municipalities throughout South Africa to give them an idea of the views of ordinary South Africans.

Details of the other dialogues, which will be held at venues across Cape Town and the Western Cape, will be announced at the event.

For catering purposes, RSVP to reception@districtsix.co.za.

Celebrating Alex La Guma

20 February 1925 – 11 October 1985

ALEX LA GUMA

Alex La Guma was one of South Africa’s greatest writers of the 21st century. Born in Roger Street in District Six, this community became the setting for his first book, A Walk in the Night, which he wrote in 1962. In the next few years he also wrote And a Threefold Cord, The Stone Country, The Fog at the Season’s End, and Time of the Butcherbird. He was also an important political figure, and spent large chunks of time wither banned, under house arrest in prison and finally in exile. He was living  with his wife Blanche in Cuba as chief representative of the African National Congress in the Caribbean at the time of his death in October 1985.

Had he lived, Alex La Guma would have celebrated his 94th birthday on 20 February 2019. District Six Museum together with Friends of Cuba, invite you to a launch event on Wednesday 20 February 2019, starting at 18h00, at which we will share some ideas about the commemorative programme for the year. His good friend and legal counsel Judge Albie Sachs will be the guest speaker for the evening, and we will listen to a selection of readings from his works.

Please RSVP by Monday 18 February for catering purposes, by calling 021 4667200 or emailing reception@districtsix.co.za

Please note that this event will take the place of the Museum’s Supper Club event for February.

2019

11 February 1966 – 11 February 2019

Remembering the declaration of District Six as ‘whites only’

In the face of so many issues that impact negatively on our communities and the growing disappointment of so many, commemorating significant past events becomes more and more difficult. Occasionally overwhelmed by present issues, it might seem like an indulgence to mark the past.

But, despite the potential for the issues of the day to completely absorb our attention and energies, we know that it is dangerous to live in the ‘now’ only. Legacies live deep and we need to acknowledge them appropriately.

In this context, we invite all Capetonians to once again join us in the annual commemoration which is significant to the District Six community. The walk of remembrance marks the day that District Six was declared a White Group Area in 1966.

Remembered in different ways over the past number of years, the former and returning residents have worked hard to ensure that the day will be remembered by generations beyond their lifetimes. Connections are made between this past traumatic day and its current translation into a positive signifier. It was on 11 February in 2004 that the first ‘Return of the Elders’ took place. We remember the elation of that occasion when Mr Dan Ndzabela and Mr Ebrahim Moerat (both now deceased) received the keys to their new homes from the late President Nelson Mandela. There was joyous acknowledgement of the place of that day in his own life as well, marking his release from prison in 1999. On that day in 2005, another celebratory event took place when the next group of returnees received their keys as well.

On this day we acknowledge the tremendous impact of the draconian Group Areas Act under Apartheid, and its lasting legacy in the communities of people who were directly affected by it: District Six, Sophiatown, Bokaap, Windermere, Sakkiesdorp, South End, Fietas, Constantia, Claremont, Tramway Road and so many more.

On this day we also renew our pledge to ensure that the right to memory is non-negotiable, and its place in nation-building is to be affirmed. We remind ourselves of the unfinished business of land restitution, and of the ongoing displacement of people even as we inhabit the space of the new South Africa.

Join us at the District Six Museum on 11 February, starting at 11h00. We will walk together to the cairn of stones in Hanover Street (now enclosed by CPUT residence fencing), and end at the Homecoming Centre. You are invited to bring a stone from your community to lay on the cairn.

Six-months’ contract position available at District Six Museum

Short-term position at District Six Museum

Project support to the Director’s Office

(6 months fulltime)

Do you want to be part of a cutting edge heritage institution? Would you like to join a dynamic and creative 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 required skills, you should consider coming to work for the District Six Museum.

Flowing from its recent strategic planning process, several projects have been prioritised by the D6M team. A number of these are located within the director’s office while in the development phase, which includes raising funds for implementation. This office is in need of short-term support for this work. The three main areas in need of support are:

  • Coordination of the National Heritage Site project;
  • Visioning of the Memorial Park project (as part of the NHS project);
  • Support for implementation of memorialisation projects;
  • General support for projects located in the director’s office.

This position will suit a recent graduate or early career heritage practitioner who is interested in the area of intangible heritage, site-specific memorialisation and community engagement. Being funding dependent, this is a six-month position.

 Key responsibilities include:

  • Documentary and policy review (National Heritage Resources Act provisions and procedures);
  • Gap analysis of work-to-date and documents generated by processes;
  • Archival research;
  • Convening internal and stakeholder think-tanks, linking with other projects and initiatives both internally and externally;
  • Conduct and administer oral histories or general interviews as needed;
  • Document and track administration of project meticulously and thoroughly.

Requirements:

  • A post-graduate qualification or equivalent in museum, heritage, or related studies;
  • Some experience of the working in the above areas of research / project support / administration or communications, even if on a part-time basis, with demonstrable capabilities.
  • Working knowledge of MS Office suite of programmes.
  • Meticulous and organised.
  • Research skills.
  • Ability to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing.

Own vehicle and drivers’ licence would be an advantage although not required.

How to apply?
Submit CV with a covering letter and two contactable references for attention of THE DIRECTOR to bonita@districtsix.co.za,. Please copy nicky@districtsix.co.za.

Please include a recent writing sample (not older than six months) which could be an article, essay, blog post or proposal of approximately 250 words in length. If you do not have a writing sample, please write a motivation of the same length, explaining why your skills, aptitudes and experience are suited for this position.

If you prefer you may hand deliver your application to the front desk of the Museum, 25A Buitenkant Street.

Closing date: Monday 14 January 2019

The position is immediately available and interviews will be scheduled soon after the closing date.

AGM THANKS!

On behalf of the Museum’s board of trustees, thank you for attending the Museum’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday 1 September. Your supportive presence was much appreciated.

If you have not received a copy of the Museum’s Annual Report and would like a copy, please contact nicky@districtsix.co.za

Chair of the D6M board of trustees Judge Desai giving an overview report at the AGM

Chair of the D6M board of trustees Judge Desai giving an overview report at the AGM

AGM attendees listening attentively to the reports being presented

AGM attendees listening attentively to the reports being presented

Youth input

Youth input

Annual Report

Annual Report