Freedom Day 2018 Update

The District Six Museum will be open from 09h00 to 16h00 on Freedom Day – Friday 27 April – and it will be free of charge to all South African visitors. It is a good opportunity to bring your family to visit, to gain some understanding of the freedoms that were not available to South Africans before 27 April 1994.

In addition, you are invited to join us for a family film screening at the Homecoming Centre, starting at 12h00, followed by an intergenerational discussion and reflection on the film. Queen of Katwe is a film about a young Ugandan girl living in a slum in Katwe. She learns to play chess and becomes a champion chess player.


The film was made in 2016, directed by Mira Nair and written by William Wheeler. It stars David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga.

In the tradition of District Six bioscope-going – join us for this special screening.

At 14h30, former residents who have been involved in the Museum’s Suitcase project, will share their experiences, celebrating their freedom to share their stories, memorialise their pasts, and will invite you to participate in future projects.

May Supper Club with Ilze Wolff

Ilze Wolff

May 2018: Ilze Wolff

 ‘Conversations in and about our city’

This month’s Supper Club guest who will reflect on the 2018 theme, is Cape Town architect, Ilze Wolff.

Ilze is currently an architecture fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research, UWC and is exploring the potential for cross disciplinary spatial practice while designing an arts space for the Centre. Wonderfully, she was one of five women on the shortlist for the 2018 international Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture by the Architectural Review.’

“Wolff founded Wolff Architects with her husband and business partner, Heinrich, and their work has been built and exhibited around the world – heralded for its innovative approach to working collaboratively across disciplines to create ‘human-focused’ design.

She says: ‘I think architecture is facing a few challenges. One is: how do we intervene wisely? How do we redevelop ethically in neighbourhoods that are growing, but are identified purely as commercial opportunities for private wealth? Of wanting to address urban renewal with the consciousness of also restoring collectivity and land restitution.” (Source: Huffington Post)


The Museum’s theme for the 2018 Supper Clubs- ‘Conversations in and about our city’ will provide the backdrop for Ilze’s reflections. Thinking about ‘our city’ is enough to spark impassioned responses. It is likely that questions of clarity about whose city and which boundaries are being referred to, will be asked.

Contesting claims often come up against each other. They include contestations between current ownership as expressed through title deed, as opposed to historic ownership as expressed through relationship to geography; between newer stories of the city obliterating older ones rather than co-existing with them.

What does it mean for Cape Town to be a home for all? The rhetoric is desirable but hardly  tangible. The daily reality of many city ‘users’ is as part of a mass exodus of service workers at the end of the day, navigating unreliable and unsafe transport to reach their homes. The added current challenge of ensuring that homes are supplied with water for the family’s needs further compromise a good quality of life.

2018_05_31_MAY SUPPER CLUB

Please join us on Thursday 31 May at 18h00, for an interesting evening of good food and even better conversation. The cost for the 3-course meal- with lamb breyani / vegetarian breyani as the main course and sago pudding with custard for dessert – is R 150 per person, with children’s meals costing R 75. Booking is essential. Please call Chantal Delilie at 021 4667200, or email her at to book.

Please save the dates for June Supper Club: Thursday 28 June

Human Rights Day 2018

Image 1

‘Images of Displacement’ is the name that was chosen for the visual art exhibition which opened on Human Rights Day at the Museum’s Homecoming Centre.

Image 2

Performance poet Monishia Schoeman added ‘food for thought’ to the exhibition opening.

Image 3

Curator and facilitator of the ‘Images of Displacement’ exhibition as well as the processes leading up to the opening, Scott Williams, sharing his reflections at the opening of the exhibition. District Six returnee Ms Susan Lewis next to the Museum’s head of education Mandy Sanger, to the left of the image. Archival staff member Ivor Solomons to the right of the image.

Image 4

Some of the attendees at the opening listening attentively to the inputs.

Image 5

DJ for the day, ‘Boeta Gee’ Graham Arendse

Image 6

One of the ‘Giemba Collective’ young artists, Babalwa Mni at the opening. The name ‘Giemba Collective’ was the name chosen by the young artists to identify themselves.

In the leaflet prepared for the opening they describe their choice in this way: ‘The Giemba Collective is the name which was spontaneously chosen by the workshop participants after one lunch time. Over the course of the workshop, Gatsby’s were a popular choice for the communal lunches. These didn’t last very long as the teenage and adolescent participants devoured every morsel. Giemba is a colloquial term for a glutton and while this term has negative connotations the youthful participants were joking about their appetite caused by hormonal changes in their bodies.

The symbolism of this name cannot be ignored. We are called the Giemba Collective because ‘Black kids stay hungry’ and as young people of colour there is a constant hunger for opportunity, for success, and for satisfied Human Rights’.

Freedom Day at District Six Museum

27 April 2018

Join us as we mark this important milestone date in our country’s history. On this day a number of questions come to mind:

  • What is the state of freedom in our country? To what extent do YOU feel free?
  • What has helped YOU to express and exercise your freedom?
  • What do we need to do to ensure that the hard-won freedoms are guaranteed for ourselves and future generations?
  • What role does REMEMBERING the past play in the protection of our freedoms?

The South African History Online (2009) site calls our attention to the following:

“It is important to note however, that “freedom” should mean emancipation from poverty, unemployment, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. We are 15 years into our new democracy and many of these issues are still rife in our country. We are still a long way away from solving many of the legacies of Apartheid and now face new challenges, like the growing inequality among South Africans and political and economic instability in the region caused by a new elite who are interested in pursuing their own interests.

Freedom Day therefore serves as a reminder to us that the guarantee of our freedom requires us to remain permanently vigilant against corruption and the erosion of the values of the Freedom Struggle and to build an active citizenry that will work towards wiping out the legacy of racism, inequality and the promotion of the rights embodied in our constitution.”

The District Six Museum invites you to join in the public programme on this day, Friday 27 April. The Museum itself will be open to the public from 9h00 to 16h00, with no entrance fees being charged for South African families who choose to celebrate Freedom Day by visiting the Museum.

The programme at the Museum’s Homecoming Centre starts at 12h00 and ends at 16h00. There are 2 parts to the programme:

12h00              Film screening (title to be announced)

14h30              Site walks with storytellers

Light refreshments will be served between these two parts of the programme.

(You are encouraged to bring your own drinking water if you are in a position to do so, in order to help the Museum to reduce its water usage.)

Good wishes to Museum staff member, Chrischené Julius!


Chris has been afforded a wonderful opportunity, having been invited by the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel in Switzerland, to participate in a month-long fellowship programme. The fellowship extends from 3 April to 6 May 2018 and requires her to be involved in a number of workshops and seminar‐sessions. The theme for her input is: “The evolution of nostalgia in a community museum: uncovering the past through memory and oral history.”

We wish Chris well as she enters the second week of this fellowship, and look forward to hearing about her experiences on her return.