‘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/

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.

 

‘From where I am sitting’: Supper Club with Trevor Jones

The 2016 series of District Six Museum ‘Tafel Conversations’ is called ‘From where I am sitting.’

Thursday 31 March 2016: ‘From where I am sitting’: supper and conversation with Trevor Jones

As a young boy in District Six, Trevor Jones spent many hours in the local bioscopes and was even known to bunk school in order to feed this passion.
As a famous Hollywood film score composer, he remembers these early days when he believes his love of film and music was born. As a young man he won a scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied composition, orchestration, conducting, piano and organ. His list of films scores is impressive. They include Notting Hill, Mississippi Burning, Arachnophobia, The Last of the Mohicans, Richard III and GI Jane, amongst others.
We are privileged to have Trevor Jones as our first Supper Club guest for 2016 who will share his story at the District Six Museum’s Homecoming Centre on Thursday 31 March at 18h00.
Tickets for the event which includes a three-course meal, is R 150. Bookings can be made via Webtickets (www.webtickets.co.za) or by calling Zahra Hendricks on 021 4667200 or emailing her on reception@districtsix.co.za

Mini-Exhibition and book launch: ‘HURRY, HURRY ALBERT’

‘Hurry, hurry Albert’ is the nickname affectionately given to the late Albert Johanneson, footballer of note. South African by birth, he became the first black football superstar in the modern English game when he played for Leeds United in the 1960s. The comic book details Albert’s struggles with both apartheid in South Africa and the overt racial prejudice in England at the time. It is also a celebration of Albert’s wonderful footballing achievements.

A reflection on racial prejudice will accompany the comic book launch and exhibition which is scheduled to take place on Human Rights Day, Monday 21 March at 11h00 at the District Six Museum’s Homecoming Centre. The exhibition will be open to the public for three weeks. There is no charge for visiting the exhibition, and requests for guided group tours need to be made ahead of time as it has largely been set up as a self-guided experience.

The comic book has been developed with FURD (Football Unites, Racism Divides)- one on the Museum’s partners based in Sheffield in the UK. It has been illustrated by Cape Town illustrator, Archie Birch and first formed part of our 2010 exhibition on Football and racism.

It is hoped that this exhibition will serve as a catalyst for discussions about matters of racial and other prejudices, and will form part of the Museum’s ongoing Public Education Programmes.

Human Rights Day – 21 March – was officially declared a public holiday in 1994 following the inauguration of former president Nelson Mandela. This national public holiday is both a stark reminder of the tragic Sharpeville massacre and a celebration of South Africa’s constitution, forged on the basis of respecting human rights for all.

Read More: SA History Online

Brief Background to the Comic Book:
On Saturday 1st May 1965, Albert Louis Johanneson became the first black footballer to appear in an English FA Cup Final as Leeds United met Liverpool. Albert was cheered in anticipation by Leeds fans, but also clearly audible were the widespread boos reserved for England’s first Black Superstar.

There were virtually no black professionals in England when, in January 1961, the 20 year old from Germiston township in Johannesburg pulled up his collar against the icy blast as his train pulled into Leeds station.

Albert had grown up in Apartheid South Africa; sadly he found early Sixties Britain a deeply prejudiced country where institutional racism was firmly ingrained.

Fortunately for Albert, on the field with Leeds, Jack Charlton and Billy Bremner took it upon themselves to become the winger’s minders, a sort of early-day anti-racists, defending. Albert against the racist actions of opposition players, fans and club officials.

When new manager Don Revie made Albert his first signing he signalled his determination that lowly Division 2 Leeds were about to build an international reputation. The Real Madrid-style kit soon followed, and as season 1964-5 drew to a close the Yorkshire team were favourites to achieve the League and Cup double. Albert was the exhilarating star of the team, scoring ten times from the left wing that season; but they faltered at the final hurdle, finishing runners-up in both league (to Man Utd) and in the Cup, losing 2-1 to Liverpool.

Now Sheffield-based Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD) and illustrator Archie Birch from Cape Town have joined forces to publish a 24-page comic book telling Albert’s inspirational,yet sadly poignant story. The partnership project has built on the success of a previous comic collaboration ‘Arthur Wharton, Victorian Sporting Superstar’ between Birch and Howard Holmes, founder of FURD, an anti-racist education project set up in Sheffield in 1996.

Former Leeds and Sheffield United star Brian Deane has welcomed the acknowledgement that Albert received at the 2015 FA Cup Final, which marked the 50th Anniversary of Albert’s appearance at Wembley. Deane commented:

‘As young, football-crazy lads growing up in Chapeltown, Leeds, in the early 1970s, Albert Johanneson was a name that we were all familiar with. Although his career was over, we knew he had been a great player for Leeds United and an inspiration for the next generation of black footballing talent in the city.

He was a true pioneer, and one can only imagine how hard it must have been for Albert as the only black person in the stadium, never mind just on the pitch, in an age when there was open hostility against people purely because of the colour of their skin.

I know he received some terrible stick from opposing fans, but he persevered and became a hero both to the Leeds supporters and the black community in the city and beyond’.

Manchester City talisman Yaya Toure has also warmly backed the Johanneson comic, tweeting a pic of himself reading it and messaging:

‘Great to see FURD producing resources to raise awareness of African pioneers like Albert Johanneson’

The comic has received backing from the SA-UK Seasons 2014-15 programme, a partnership between the British Council and the South African government’s department of Arts and Culture, with additional support from the Fare Network and Professional Footballers Association in the UK, District Six Museum and the South African Football Players Union. 2500 copies each are being distributed in both the United Kingdom and South Africa, and it is hoped that the comic will act as a catalyst for a similar partnership that will develop the subject into an animated film.

Stories of activism, exile and leadership

STORYTELLING WITH JOHNSON MLAMBO

This wonderful opportunity knocked on our door two days ago and we welcomed it in with open arms. We would now like to extend this warm welcome to you at the eleventh hour.

Johnson Mlambo will be in ‘performative’ conversation with Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa and Maria Serrano at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. The programme will run from 6 – 8pm, Thursday, 21st January 2016.

https://goo.gl/maps/GoPV1EL3euN2

NB* the entrance to the D6M Homecoming Centre is on Buitenkant Street, off a lane about 25 metres from the Caledon Street corner.

 

PARTICIPANT BIOGRAPHIES

Mr Johnson Mlambo is the main storyteller for the evening. Born on the 22 February 1940 in Pilgrim’s Rest, Mpumalanga, Johnson was inspired by Josiah Madzunya and  Robert Sobukwe, and joined the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) at its formation in 1959. At the time he worked as a labourer, and a clerk for the Benoni Municpality.

In 1963, at the young age of 23, Johnson was arrested with 6 others and charged with sabotage against South Africa.  He was sentenced and served 20 years on Robben Island. Amongst the many injustices he suffered was being buried alive by prison warders.  This was something that happened to many, and Johnson was able to smuggle this information out, forcing the Apartheid regime to improve conditions on the island.  On his release he spent 10 years in exile, as a leader of the PAC.  He has addressed the OAU, United Nations, Commonwealth, and the Non-Aligned Movement Countries. In 1994 he was elected to Parliament but decided not to go to parliament.  He appeared twice before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  He worked for the integration of APLA, as well as for the integration of ex-APLA, ex-MK and former Homeland armies into one National Military Veterans Association.

Johnson has a great interest in sharing stories and his knowledge with young people.  In 2012 and 2013 he completed courses on storytelling in order to refine his storytelling skills.

Johnson Mlambo will share stories of his life as an activist with his rare combination of humour, gravitas and humility.  This will be followed by a facilitated conversation.

Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa is a Ugandan-South African poet, storyteller, coach and facilitator. Her childhood home was full of story – her father the writer, her mother the teacher, researcher and narrator par excellence.  They were all avid readers.  It is here she learnt the power of story to heal, to teach, to entertain, to comfort and create a sense of community.

Philippa has a passion for folktales and myths – the wisdom of centuries, the tried and tested imagery, the archetypal characters that give new perspective to the perennial questions that we struggle with. She says, “When a story gets my heart beating faster, or an image in a story stirs something inside me, I know that that story has come to teach me at this moment in my life! I believe this is true for everyone.”

María Serrano is a multilingual international storyteller who performs in English, Swedish and Spanish. Her repertoire includes traditional-, true-life- and improvised stories. She first met Johnson Mlambo in 2012 on a storytelling course in Cape Town. She has since performed his story “The Mother of All Tears” in several countries in a variety of settings.

“I remember telling Jonhson’s story in the street outside a bookshop in Spain and seeing the look in the eyes of the young men, aged 16-17, hearing about how seeing young men their age arriving at Robben Island, made Johnson decide he would never stop fighting apartheid.” she recalls.

For more information contact the Museum: 021 4667200 / info@districtsix.co.za

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