‘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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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.

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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.

Public launch: HUIS KOMBUIS FOOD & MEMORY COOKBOOK

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Join us for HIGH TEA

Saturday, 26th November at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre located at 15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town – for directions follow the following link: https://goo.gl/maps/S6mxAXttRsQ2

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RSVP: https://goo.gl/forms/GpqzSvdZeSx2FJo73 (for catering purposes)

A PRESS LAUNCH was held on Thursday, 17 NOVEMBER 2016

As we commemorate the 50th year since the declaration of District Six as a White Group Area in 1966, we also celebrate the launch of the District Six Museum’s Huis Kombuis Food and Memory Cookbook, a fitting tribute to the rich legacy of District Six. The launch marks an important moment for the Museum and those District Sixers who have contributed to making this recipe book over ten years. Replete with storytelling, craft and recipes, the book places a spotlight on the stories of ex-residents from the District and how food was often the connecting element between families and communities forcibly removed from District Six.

“The title, Huis Kombuis (directly translated from Afrikaans, means ’home kitchen’), was inspired by descriptions of kitchens in participants’ homes as being the heart of the home, its central social space. Here traditional recipes were brought to life in the rituals of cooking, eating and the sensory exchange at the kitchen table. Culinary rituals and home craft practices maintained and reinforced deep significances and connections with District Six as a place of home, family and community.”

Tina Smith, Curator, District Six Museum

The project participants – women and men from District Six – presented tasters of the recipes featured in the book.

Please contact Tina Smith for more information on the project: tina@districtsix.co.za or 021 466 7200.

The book sells for R385 and is available at main bookstores and also at the Museum’s book shop.

To order books during the launch week at the special price of R285:  https://goo.gl/forms/sQvVlHSLAGLd7t5F3

PROGRAMME

Welcome: Chrischené Julius  (Acting Director)

Guest Speaker: Nombulelo Mkefa, ex-Trustee of the District Six Museum

Project Introduction: Tina Smith (District Six Museum Curator )

Q & A: Panel discussion with participants

Signing of books

TEA

 

BACKGROUND

Huis Kombuis Food and Memory Cookbook

Publisher: District Six Museum and Quivertree Publishers

This is not a conventional cookbook. Rather, it is a story about food that is deeply rooted in the cultural practice and heritage that exists in the fragile memories of those who were forcibly displaced.

The recipes and biographies in the book comprise facets of a collective memory of District Six that unlock complex narratives about family histories and cultural life in the District. For many, the story of food is inseparable from the spirit of place and a sense of belonging.

Stories shared during the group and individual oral history research processes were arranged into themes, threading together stories relating to duties in the kitchen, rituals of daily life, a weekly menu, urban food foraging, shopping, Sunday family meals and festive dishes during Christmas, Labarang, Easter and New Year celebrations. These themes inspired the various chapters outlined in the book. There were many stories highlighting the importance of trust, respect and tolerance. Kanala, a word embodying a spirit of sharing and helping one another, gave expression to the spirit that characterised a close-knit community, its survival, resilience and humour. Storytellers remembered how their mothers and grandmothers cobbled together a living through home industries or working ‘in service’. Cooking, baking, sewing and mending skills were honed during these everyday domestic practices, and became a valuable resource as they re-imagined the ‘ordinary’ in District Six.

These valued memories and traditions served as inspiration for drawing, painting, creative writing and remembrances of traditional dishes such as bobotie, tripe and trotters, crayfish curry, smoorsnoek and cabbage bredie, oumens onder die kombers, doek poeding, pickled fish and many more. The hand-crafted recipe cloths featured in the book are creative expressions of an oral tradition that has been passed on and therefore may not always reflect accurate measurements or methods, which makes them unique pieces of memory work.

Stitching these fragile pieces of the past together has opened up fresh possibilities for making new layers of memories. These recipes carry collective memories. In the physical absence of District Six, through memories of time, space and movement, this reawakening of the participants’ sensory experiences has given weight to an emptiness that was once unfathomable. We are shown the richness of this abundant knowledge by a textural emporium of maps, stories, archival material, family photographs, anecdotes, recipes and hand-stitchery.

The emphasis of the cookbook is not on what was lost but rather on affirming rich, diverse cultural values that have kept the memory of District Six relevant. Through remembering and reviving these traditional cuisines we celebrate the lessons of solidarity and share a part of humanity that gave District Six its unique spirit of place.

 

District Six 50th Commemoration Print Exchange – Exhibition now on at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

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A collaboration of 50 artists commemorating 50 Years since District Six was declared a White Group Area in 1966. 60 000 people were forcibly removed.

Curated by Penny George from the Cape Peninsula University’s Service Design Department in collaboration with the District Six Museum and Hardground Printing Studio. Featuring new work by artists – Lionel Davis, Garth Erasmus, Jonathan Comerford, Kim Berman, Julie Brewis, Sipho Mdanda, Ayesha Price, Lesego Motsiri, Manfred Zylla, Donovan Ward, Tina Smith, Sophie Peters, Micah Chisholm, amongst others

Exhibition Open to the public: Wednesday, 9 November – Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Viewing: Monday – Saturday 09:00 – 16:00

Venue: District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, 15a Buitenkant Street

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Please join a guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday 3 December 2016 at 12:00

Enquiries: Zahra Hendricks

Tel: 021 466 7200

Email: reception@districtsix.co.za

 

 

RE[AS]SISTING NARRATIVES

A FRAMER FRAMED / DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM exhibition

23 November – 13 December 2016

 

Enquiries about the opening on Wednesday, 23 November at 17h30: Zahra Hendricks \ reception@districtsix.co.za \ 021 4667200

Public Education Programme (PEP): Exhibition walk about and panel discussion featuring the curators and artists – Chandra Frank and Judith Westerveld (NL); Justin Davy, Tasneem Mononoke Wentzel and Toni Stuart (SA): Friday, 25th November at 17h30

DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM HOMECOMING CENTRE

15 Buitenkant Sreet, Cape Town // districtsix.co.za

Open Monday – Saturday, 09h00 – 16h00 // Free entry

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/dhNEMduDsqD2

reassistingnarrativesposter

District Six Museum and Framer Framed, a platform for arts & culture in Amsterdam, present a unique collaborative exhibition: Re(as)sisting Narratives, curated by Chandra Frank. The exhibition explores lingering legacies of colonialism between South Africa and the Netherlands through engaging with contemporary artists from both countries. Re(as)sisting Narratives is the result of a two-year project between three partners from both The Netherlands and South Africa: Framer Framed (NL), District Six Museum (SA) and Centre for Curating the Archive (SA).

The exhibition is on show in The Netherlands and South Africa, partly overlapping: at Framer Framed (Amsterdam) from 28 August – 27 November, at District Six Museum (Cape Town) from 23 November – 13 December.

Participating artists explore broader themes such as race, gender, memory, trauma and spatiality in their work. At District Six Museum, the exhibition features Burning Museum, Toni Stuart & Kurt Orderson and Judith Westerveld. At Framer Framed, the exhibition also includes Mohau Modisakeng, Athi-Patra Ruga and Mary Sibande. The artists in this show are connected by a shared interest in evoking and readdressing that what is left behind, that what is (in)visible, and a visual fusion of reality and fantasy to create new ways of being.

READ MORE:

Framer Framedhttp://tinyurl.com/jd4ak4l

Chandra Frank – http://tinyurl.com/jhf3t7y

Burning Museum – http://tinyurl.com/grhghff

Toni Stuarthttp://tinyurl.com/jocxzf3

Kurt Ordeson – http://tinyurl.com/gpdsomr

Judith Westerveld – http://www.judithwesterveld.nl/

MR TABLE TENNIS TO SCREEN AT ENCOUNTERS 2016

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.

Three years in the making, Mr Table Tennis, produced by Accidental Films
and TV will have its world premiere at the Encounters International
Documentary Film Festival this year.

MrTT24022015_1390

The film takes its audience on a fascinating journey through anti-apartheid
sport history as the backdrop for Pedro’s story. Watch Mr Table Tennis and you will know more about table tennis than you ever expected to and develop a stronger understanding of the multi-dimensionality of South African struggles under apartheid.

Tina-Louise Smith, a black woman filmmaker in her forties, is the producer
and director of Mr Table Tennis. She says the seed for the story was planted
when she was working on a video about Green Point Common for the District
Six Museum’s Fields of Play exhibition. She met Pedro Meyer, who spoke
animatedly about his years as a table tennis player and showed her his hoard
of trophies.

In 2012 she started filming with Pedro while he painted, conducting interviews
with his table tennis peers, and filming observational footage with Cody
Meyer, Pedro’s grandson.

In December 2014 she signed a commissioning contract with the SABC and
in September 2015 delivered the final film.

Encounters runs from 2 – 12 June 2016.
Mr Table Tennis is owned by the SABC.

MR TABLE TENNIS | PRESS RELEASE | TINA-LOUISE SMITH | 082 828 0882 | tina@accidentalfilms.co.za