CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH with the District Six Museum

Saturday, 29 AUGUST 2015

District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

13h30 – 15h30

You are invited to join us in honouring the women of the 1980s with the launch of the book,   ‘SOUTH  AFRICAN WOMEN’S APARTHEID AND POST-APARTHEID STRUGGLES: 1980-2014′ by Gertrude Fester

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Former Constitutional Court Judge, ALBIE SACHS

For further information and to be invited to the book launch, please email: gertrudefester@gmail.com / feministforum@telkomsa.net 

BOOK SUMMARY

TITLE: South African Women’s Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Struggles: 1980-2014

PUBLISHER: Scholars’ Press, Saarbrücken, 2015.

WRITER: Gertrude Fester

ISBN 978-3-639-51082-9

The first section examines grassroots women’s non-racial political activism (Western Cape) during the 1980-1994 phase to achieve citizenship. This is captured through analysing the United Women’s Organisation, UWO (1981-1986), United Women’s Congress (1986-1990) and Federation of South African Women (Western Cape, 1987-1990). These organisations had more than 6000 members at any one time. Despite apartheid, membership  ranged from Gardens to Guguletu, Manenberg to Macassar. Members were  domestic workers, students, housewives, university lecturers, professors, lawyers, factory workers, etc. The UWO was central to the formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and for the first few months of its existence here, the UDF used the UWO’s Mowbray offices.

Through tracing the history of women’s political agency and resistance, this study argues that women profoundly contributed to the New SA. Motherhood was the legitimate space granted to them by liberation movements but women transformed motherhood into empowering public roles, affirming demands for citizenship. These aforementioned ANC-supporting structures later broadened out into strategic alliances in order to  maximize women’s intervention as negotiations loomed. This illustrates the shifting nature of women’s resistance, what forms they took and how they pragmatically and strategically changed over time. Subsequently the Women’s Alliance was formed and thereafter an even broader structure, the Women’s National Coalition.

This narrative of women’s struggles asserts that despite patriarchy relegating women’s issues as secondary, women’s focussed struggles united diverse women to effective intervention. This culminated in the gender-sensitive constitution.

A secondary focus examines transition from apartheid to  ‘women-friendly’ SA. By comparing the demands of The Women’s Charter for Effective Equality (1994) with the 1994-2014 reality of women and by analysing what women themselves state (200 interviews), women’s citizenship is assessed.

The penultimate chapter outlines progress of 20 years of freedom. Many critical challenges remain. The question, within this context, asks whether women in government have contributed to radical transformation of women’s lives.

This study concludes that the achievement of feminist citizenship is uneven. Despite the impressive constitution, the sporadic implementation of gender-sensitive policies, poverty, high levels of violence against women and children and the negative impact of culture and religion are some of the obstacles to women’s comprehensive citizenship. The above is all told from an ‘insider-outsider’ perspective as Gertrude was a leader in all the above struggles.

REVIEW BY SHIRLEY RANDELL

‘I commend Professor Gertrude Fester’s book to all feminists and human rights activists around the world who are interested in the struggle of women in Africa for human rights. Gertrude is in a unique position to write on feminism in South Africa having lived and worked in the women’s liberation struggles through the anti-apartheid movement, been imprisoned for her efforts, privileged to serve in the Mandela Government and lead significant organizations since then. She chooses to focus on grassroots women and women’s organizations and through her insightful interviews their stories become alive for us. Her book is a brave history that will be feasted on by scholars for years to come. ‘

Prof. Shirley Randell AO, PhD, Hon.DLitt

Founder and former director of the Center for Gender, University of Rwanda.

Currently- Pre-service Secondary Training Program Specialist

Ministry of Education, Dhaka, Bangladesh

The book is available at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/African-Womens-Apartheid-Post-Apartheidstruggles/dp/3639510828/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431576749&sr=1-1&keywords=9783639510829

Morebooks: https://www.morebooks.de/store/gb/book/south-african-women-s-apartheid-and-post-apartheid-struggles:1980-2014/isbn/978-3-639-51082-9

Barnes Noble :http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/south-african-womens-apartheid-and-post-apartheid-struggles-fester-gertrude/1121851529? an=9783639510829&itm=1&usri=9783639510829

SOON TO BE AVAILABLE AT BOOK STORES IN CAPE TOWN!

Cape Flats Film Festival: 16th – 23rd August 2015

FINALE at the DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM HOMECOMING CENTRE

SUNDAY, 23rd August 2015

11h00 – 19h00

Cape Flats Uprising aims to change the stereotypes that people have of the Cape Flats that strips vulnerable communities of their humanity. The film festival will therefore show positive documentaries and stories from the community with the community during the month of August. The aim is to highlight the many amazing people from the Cape Flats to change the lasting perception that was created by Apartheid to vilify the masses. The central message of this festival is that ‘Change begins with US!”

Cape Flats Film Festival Part 1 (The Winter / Indoor Screening) will run from the 16th August and end at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre with an ‘Awards event’ on the 23rd August.

Screenings will take place in the following areas:

Follow the festival on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/1602973716650302/ for updates.

Sunday, 16th August – Ocean View
Monday, 17th August – Fairmount High
Tuesday, 18th August – Langa
Wednesday, 19th August – Mitchell’s Plain
Thursday, 20th August – Gugulethu
Friday, 21st August – (tbc) Bonteheuwel
Saturday, 22nd August – New World Foundation, Lavender Hill
Sunday, 23rd Aug 2015 – Finale at District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

Pictures below:

Left: learners at Fairmount High School, Grassy Park with a performer from the Cape Flats Hip Hop and dance crew, Mixed Mense. Right: Learners at Surrey Primary, Athlone discussing the movie ‘Afrikaaps’ with Emile Jansen of ‘Heal the Hood’.

Fairmount

Afrikaaps_SurreyPrimary2

Women’s Humanity Walk through District Six

The Artscape Women’s festival programme will include a HUMANITY WALK organized by the Woman Zone. The walk will start from the District Six Homecoming Centre on Sunday, 9th at 11h00 and pass through the site of District Six. This interactive initiative gives ‘Walkers’ the opportunity to communicate with someone they don’t know and build a bridge of dialogue.

After the success of last year’s event, the Woman Zone’s Women’s Humanity Walk returns in 2015, encouraging all women to don their walking shoes and take to the streets for an enjoyable stroll on WNational Women’Day, 2015. The walk begins at the District Six Homecoming Centre and ends at the Artscape Piazza, where there will be music, speeches and a special celebratory Humanity Meal.

Visit http://www.artscape.co.za for more information about the Women’s Humanity Arts festival, booking details and participating organisations.

Women’s films on Saturday to commemorate National Woman’s Day

To end off the Africa World Documentary Film Festival week, District Six Museum and UWC Education Department will host a day of films by women film makers: South Africans – Elise Fernandez, Nadine Cloete, Esley Philander; Haitian-American Rachelle Salnave; and self-described ‘multi-ethnic’ Jade Gibson. In addition, we will feature the Dan Yon biopic on songstress Sathima Bea Benjamin

SATURDAY 8 AUGUST 2015

12h00 – 17h30

DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM HOMECOMING CENTRE

15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

Background information: http://www.africaworldfilmfestival.com/

12h00 – 13h05 La Belle Vie: The Good Life (62 mins) Haiti, USARachelle Salnave  A story about a Haitian-American filmmaker, Rachelle Salnave’s journey to discover her Haitian roots by examining the complexities of the Haitian society as it pertains to the overall political and economic dichotomy in Haiti. Using her own personal family stories interconnected with capturing the voices of Haitians and experts overall, this film chronologically uncovers the rationale behind its social class system but also how it has affected the Haitian-American migration experience as well. With the proliferation of political turmoil, poverty, and now an earthquake shattered nation, the documentary beckons all to lay down their arms, be it the tangible weapons of death and pain or the psychological and spiritual tools of division and prejudice, and work as one to rebuild and prosper in the name of a new and stronger Haiti.This film in the end invokes the question whether or not its tragic event will shift the consciousness of all Haitians (living in Haiti or abroad) by motivating them to unite to build a new Haiti.
13h30 – 13h45 BREAK
13h45 – 14h15 THE GOLDEN YEARS (1): Maria April (24 mins)Courtesy of SABCDirected by Nadine Cloete

Produced by Elise Fernandez

Maria April – A story of an elderly woman who’s grandmother died years ago. Her bones were dug up by a white school teacher who used it in his biology class. Today the school says they own the bones and that the family cannot prove that the bones belong to them. All that is left of it is the skull and it is kept in a Typex box..Maria Cloete 2
14h30- 15h00 THE GOLDEN YEARS (2): Fatima Dike (24 mins)Courtesy of SABCDirected by Esley Philander and Elise Fernandez

Produced by Elise Fernandez

Fatima Dike – A story about the first black woman to become a published playwright. Sis Fatts (as we know her) deals with the loss of her son, her grandson and her brothers all being murdered at different stages of her life. She is a playwright and activist.33kultur-fatima_dik_713192a
15h00 – 15h30 THE GOLDEN YEARS (2): Katrina Esau (24 mins)Courtesy of SABCDirected by Nadine Cloete

Produced by Elise Fernandez

A story of an 80+ year old woman in the Norther Cape who is fighting to keep a dying language known as Nu! alive.Katina Esau
15h30 – 15h50 BREAK
15h50 – 16h20 WISH YOU WERE HERE (8 mins)Jade Gibson A material object is seen and categorised as a visual referent within the mind, where, linked with its contextual associations and other referents, it becomes part of visual memory, both individual and collective. This short art film explores how ‘objects’ in the past, as in photographs, books, experiences and film media, shape unconscious perceptions of how we encounter ‘objects’ in the present. In the case of the short art film ‘Wish You Were Here’, the object is myself. I present as an ethnographic art ‘object’, in order to examine the mis-identification and projections of others who create me as being of multiple and different ethnic identities and provenances. Although essentially a playful piece, the work also draws on and relates to more disturbing connotations; the phenotyping and determination of racial ‘types’ in the past and present, the deliberate construction in the composition of the ‘ethnographic’ photograph and film, and the impact of racial and ethnic stereotyping in the present, despite the world being increasingly presented as a more and more genetically and electronically interconnected space.Being of mixed ethnicity, apparently Scottish/Irish/Spanish and Filipino, yet growing up in the UK with adoptive parents and thus having no cultural knowledge of Filipino culture, and never having been there, I find myself constantly mis-identified by how I appear to others. This is often initially with absolute certainty by those who see me, as being identified as a number of different, and often quite diverse, ethnicities. Over the years, I was curious what images and associations might exist in the people’s heads who mis-identified me, and how these might interplay with images of ‘ethnic stereotypes’ shaped through images in the past, as well as present.
16h20 – 17h30 SATHIMA’S WINDSONG (54 mins)Dan Yon Sathima’s Windsong is about the life and times of South African jazz singer, Sathima Bea Benjamin, whose musical creations were often in the shadow of her husband, jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim. The film is shot primarily in New York, Cape Town but opens with short of the Island of St Helena, birthplace of Sathima’s grandmother. It returns to the ocean to signal travel, ‘routes’ and jazz as metaphors for her life-history. In her apartment of the Chelsea Hotel Apartment, Sathima’s home for more than thirty years, she patches together her journeys from apartheid South Africa and its ‘patterns of brokenness’ to Europe, and a chance meeting and a recording with Duke Ellington in Paris in 1963, to the highs and lows of making a life for herself and family in New York. The narrative of her journeys is interwoven with her music and the reflections of folks in South Africa and New York who know her work thus making this film both a celebration of Sathima’s music as well as a reflection on the historical context that helped shape it. The film takes it title from Sathima’s haunting composition, Windsong, which, like this film, is itself is a reflection upon displacement, exile, belonging and longing.
CLOSING WORDS

A round-table discussion with Mindy Fullilove: Impressions of the mental health of Cape Town as a ‘recovering’ city.

Join District Six Museum and the African Centre for Cities in a round-table with Dr Fullilove during which time she will share with us some of the practical expressions of her work, as well as her impressions of the mental health of Cape Town as a ‘recovering’ city.

TUESDAY 11 AUGUST 2015,
18h00 – 20h00
District Six Museum Homecoming Centre,
15 Buitenkant Street
021 466 7200 / nicky@districtsix.co.za for more information

Dr Mindy Thompson Fullilove, will be visiting us from Columbia University in New York.
She is a professor of Clinical Psychology and Public Health, and is interested in the links between the environment and mental health. She has researched, written and designed projects which speak to this concern, and is well-known for her critique as well as the development of various initiatives in New York and surrounding neighbourhoods.
In the introduction to her book Root Shock’, she writes:
I present here the words of the people who have lived upheaval: the uprooted, the planners, the advocates, the historians. Read their words with care for them and for yourself. Read their words, not as single individuals living through a bad time, but as a multitude all sharing their morsel of the same bad time. Read in that manner and I believe that you will get the true nature of root shock. Read in that manner, and I believe you will be able to embrace the truth, not as a fearful thing, but as a call to join the struggle for a better tomorrow.

A SHORT BIO:
Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove is a board-certified psychiatrist who is interested in the links between the environment and mental health. She started her research career in 1986 with a focus on the AIDS epidemic, and became aware of the close link between AIDS and place of residence. Under the rubric of the psychology of place, Dr. Fullilove began to examine the mental health effects of such environmental processes as violence, rebuilding, segregation, urban renewal, and mismanaged toxins. She has published numerous articles and six books including “Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities,” “Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It,” and “House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place.”