The Wilvan community invites you to an evening of memory and tribute, celebrating 45 years of an extraordinary communal creative project in dance and related disciplines.

Video, oral and live presentations will document the Wilvan story from 1968 to 2013 and its contribution to the cultural fabric of Cape Town. Do join us in this celebration.

1 March 2015

District Six Museum

25 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town


Adults: R100 / Children: R50

Drinks and snacks will be served after the show. Advance booking is essential for catering purposes.

To book please contact Tembi Charles at tembi.charles@gmail.com or telephone / text: 0720335470

Current Exhibition on at the D6M Homecoming Centre


Cape Town Remembers differently

An exhibition of ‘Movie Snaps’ street photographs curated by Siona O’Connell

On the 31st of January Dr Siona O’Connell’s Movie Snaps: Cape Town Remembers Differently exhibition was opened at the District Six Museum’s Homecoming Centre. It was opened to the public  by Professor Brian O’Connell, former rector of the University of the Western Cape.
The exhibition uses street photographs taken by the Movie Snaps Studio in the Cape Town city centre both before and during the height of apartheid. These geographically specific embedded photographs depicted South Africans of all races in intimate situations. Thousands of these images were taken across several decades and are found in almost every home across the Cape Flats and Atlantis as well as in the homes of Jewish Capetonians on the Atlantic Seaboard. Dr O’Connell explains: “These pictures illustrate moments of ordinary living in extraordinary times”; yet until now their enormous value has been largely unrecognised. O’ Connell continues: “These photographs offer a counterpoint to the familiar narrative of apartheid’s series of carefully composed images of burning tires, mass protests and violence and urge a consideration of the afterlives of apartheid.”

Read more on the Centre for Curating the Archive website: http://tinyurl.com/nfqynjb

From 31st January to 28th February 2015

Open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 3.30pm

Free entrance

D6M Homecoming Centre

15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town


2015 started on a strange note for Capetonians, with the shifting of the Tweede Nuwejaar * Carnival to a date so far from the start of the year that it felt disconnected. Whether you support the Carnival or not, you can’t argue with it being an important part of this city’s heritage. It’s a pity that so much of its history got lost along the way. What a powerful link for us all to remember that part of our past is located in the shameful enslavement of people, and the joy and meaning that they found in this day of celebration during their time of enslavement.  This association make more apparent the connection between Tweede Nuwejaar and the Emancipation Day Walk in the Night which we have been involved with for a number of years now, to mark the day on which the enslaved people at the Cape were freed by law (1 December 1834).

But that, I suppose, is the nature of history. It is up to those of us who care about the past to keep it alive. Seven Steps members continue to lead the way in showing how much they care about making sure that a forgotten past stays alive!

* Second New Year

As usual, our first ‘Seven Steps’ members’ activity and public programme for the year starts with the 11 February commemoration of the declaration of District Six as a White Group Area (1966). The closing in of the historic cairn of stones in old Hanover Street by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) construction has been an intense focus of 2014 and is likely to continue in the current year.

While we continue to pay attention to the future of the cairn, we should at the same time be vigilant about the other sites of memory which are potentially at risk. This includes the Memorial Park (Horstley Street), Lydia’s School (Dry Dock), Hanover Street from the site of the cairn to the Holy Cross Church and, also, the site of the first pilot phase of housing development—representing years of struggle for the land.

Bonita Bennett (Director), 30 January 2015

Albie Sachs speaks at the Lydia William’s Centre for Memory

11 February 1966: District Six was declared a white area…

Join the District Six Museum, the community it works with and friends for words of reflection by our guest speaker, ALBIE SACHS, former Constitutional Court Judge. This will form part of the Interfaith Service that will conclude a day of remembrance and place making. For more information: http://tinyurl.com/qbzs2ej

The Lydia Williams Centre for Memory (Old St Phillip’s School)

Chapel Street, District Six

11 February 2015




PRESS RELEASE: District Six Museum Remembers

Day of remembrance programme to be held on Wednesday the 11th of February

11 February 1966 is a day that will always be remembered by the District Six community – a date that marked the start of the end. This was the day that District Six was declared a whites-only area. Subsequently, more than 60 000 people were forcibly removed and the buildings were flattened.

District Six Museum – a memorial to a destroyed community and a meeting place for old and new Cape Town residents who identify with its history – will be hosting its annual day of remembrance programme on Wednesday. On this day every year, the Museum commemorates the destruction and recommits to the process of restitution together with the community.

The 11th of February marks a significant day for the Museum and its community. The annual programme is our way of bringing people together to re-connect and honour the past”, says Bonita Bennett, Director of the District Six Museum.

From 1994, a commemorative procession starting at St Mark’s Church has marked this day, and various individual and collective pilgrimages have followed on each year. In 2004, the first families received the keys to their new homes on this date, and in 2005 the names of the next returning families were announced.

Traditionally there has been a major focus on the cairn of stones – whereby ex-residents lay their stones at the cairn on Hanover Street. The cairn is made up of their stones laid there over the years, symbolising ex-residents’ connectedness to the land and staking their claim to its history.

This year, the proceedings cannot continue in the same manner due to the CPUT construction which currently surrounds it. CPUT has been approached to permit access to the cairn which lies cordoned off in the heart of the building site. Stones will be laid, but the performative ritual around the cairn will not be possible because of the intrusion of the building. This will be the first time that the stone laying will take place under these circumstances and it should provide some clues as to the future of the cairn. The day will be concluded with an interfaith service at the Lydia Williams Centre of Memory. Albie Sachs, former Constitutional Court Judge and anti-apartheid activist, will be the guest speaker for the evening.

The programme for the day will include:

  • 11h00: Gather at the D6M Homecoming Centre. People are requested to bring stones to lay at the cairn
  • 11h30: Procession to the cairn and ritual of remembrance
  • 13h00: Reflections and refreshments at D6M Homecoming Centre
  • 19h00: Interfaith service at The Lydia Williams Centre of Memory (the old St Phillip’s School), Chapel Street in District Six.  Guest speaker Judge Albie Sachs.

The programme is free and all are welcome to attend (please confirm).