July Supper Club: Reflections

Although we were slightly hesitant about having three Supper Club guests in July rather than the usual single speaker, we need not have worried. We were concerned that the limited time for each speaker, might make the occasion seem hurried and that they might be frustrated at not having enough time to express themselves.

This was not the case: our three guests handled the limitations beautifully! The room was abuzz with the energetic and passionate views of our guests Lusapho Hlatshaneni, Jordan Pieters and Gabeba Gaidien who, acutely aware of the preciousness of the time, were thoughtful, considered and bold in the way that they chose to put forward their viewpoints. They modelled so wonderfully the spirit of the Super Club conversations, and everyone commented on how well they listened to each other especially when they held different points of view or disagreed with each other. Each responded to the issues on the table rather than shouting each other down.

This was a wonderful dialogue about youth issues expressed by youthful voices, acknowledging at the same time that the range of issues are far more complex, layered and varied than could be expressed by three people and in this limited context.

It was a bonus for the group to be invited into the Cape Talk Studios after Supper Club, to continue the conversation on the Koketso Sachane’s Show.

In Cape Talk Studio before Koketso Sachane Show

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JULY SUPPER CLUB

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This month’s Supper Club will take on a slightly different format. Usually there is a single storyteller, but, on Thursday 26 July we will be engaging with a panel of young people who will share their take on issues of the day, particularly about leaderships, national icons and Apartheid legacies. What are the issues that trouble them? Do they feel heard and what are their thoughts about the country’s future? What does the term ‘born free’ mean to them, and do they feel nurtured to become tomorrow’s leaders? How does that play out for them today?

In this month of July when the world is focused on the legacy of the iconic Madiba, what are our blindspots in celebrating our national heroes and heroines? How do we honour without erasing the contributions of other leaders?

Supper Club takes place at the District Six Museum’s Homecoming Centre at 15 Buitenkant Street. The July conversation is entitled ‘Young Voices Speak’ and is scheduled for 26 July at 6pm. Booking is essential and the cost is R 150 per person / R 75 for children.

Book through Webtickets, calling Chantal on 021 4667200 or emailing reception@districtsix.co.za

Supper Club with Koketso Sachane: Reflections

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Oblivious to the lamb curry simmering in the room, and the malva pudding heating up, April supper club attendees were engrossed in the conversation stimulated by Koketso Sachane. Was there still time for dialogue? How will we turn our country from the abyss towards which it seems to be hurtling? What must people  do to be heard, and who is to blame for where we are as a nation? These are just some of the questions that were raised, debated and discussed. Many points of view discussed, beginnings of answers arrived at, finally concluding that much more by all, is needed, to bring about change.

Thanks to Koketso for being a great listener and conversationalist!

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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)

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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.

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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 reception@districtsix.co.za to book.

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

April Supper Club with Koketso Sachane

Koketso Sachane

“Conversations in and about our City” with broadcaster, moderator and communicator, Koketso Sachane

With the topic of land restitution and land expropriation without compensation once again brought to the fore, it is fitting that the District Six Museum’s April Supper Club Series tackle this very emotive topic.

The Supper Club Series, which takes place the last Thursday of every month, will for the year of 2018, hold conversations around the theme, “Conversations in and about our city”.

This April, the Supper Club will host broadcaster, moderator and communicator, Koketso Sachane, who will share his thoughts on dispossession, apartheid special planning and colonialism in a South African context.

“As a country, let alone a city, we come from a fractured past with various lived experiences. Honest dialogue presents an opportunity for us not only to understand each other but also, based on that understanding and respect for lived experiences, to be able to collectively create cities we all have ownership of,” said Sachane.

He added: “The city’s landscape remains rooted in a history of dispossession which through colonial and apartheid spatial planning has had the obvious and unavoidable manifestation through existing economic disparities. One cannot discuss the landscape of our city in economic, social and even spiritual terms without discussing the question of the land.”

Bonita Bennett, Director of the District Six Museum, explained the decision for the Supper Club’s 2018 theme “Conversations in and about our City” was importat for communities of Cape Town to share in conversation and dialogue about the city they live in, and the Museum hopes to be one of those platforms where people feel comfortable enough to debate around these very lively topics of conversation, said Bennett.

“When speaking about the city, sometimes it is the CBD that is being referred to, and at other times it is the broader metropolitan city. Either way, there are many initiatives that seek to support a broad citizen movement to reclaim the city, reimagine the city, rebuild the city, etc.

“The District Six Museum forms part of that broad movement and seeks to provide one more platform for engaging in conversations – through both listening and speaking – which contributes towards building understanding between people with different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds,” said Bennett.

She added that cities are inspiring platforms for engagements, and “Conversations in and about our city” seeks to add depth to Cape Town as one such platform.

Said Koketso on why Capetonions should join the conversation: “The forced removals of District Six and the fact that those displaced have yet to return remains a blight on the moral make-up of Cape Town. Having this important conversation at the District Six Museum serves as a reminder to us all that we have unfinished business. My hope is that fellow residents come with a willingness to engage in honest and unfiltered conversation. My approach is not about what I have to say but rather the engagement and flow of conversation as a collective.”

“Conversations in and about the City” will take place on Thursday 26 April 2018, 6pm for 6:30pm, at the Museum’s Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. Tickets are R150 and includes a welcome drink, main meal, dessert, and a hot drink with koesisters to round-off the evening. Advance bookings through Webtickets or by direct deposit made by Wednesday 25 April earn a discount of R 20 per ticket.

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About the District Six Museum’s Supper Club series:

The Supper Club Series brings people together who might ordinarily not have met, and also creates opportunities for friends to meet up with each other. It aims to contribute to a culture which encourages the expression of different points of view in a space which is contained and supportive.      

About Koketso Sachane:

Koketso Sachane is a radio and communications practitioner with experience in the public and private sector. Sachane currently hosts a talk show on Cape Town regional radio station, Cape Talk. He is a former communications advisor in the Western Cape Provincial and National governments. Sachane is a passionate broadcaster with interest in the role dialogue plays in understand history and forging interpersonal and intercontinental linkages.

February 2018 Supper Club

The  2018 Supper Club programme had a wonderful start with the legendary Fatima Dike taking the microphone on the storyteller’s easy chair at the District Six Museum’s Homecoming Centre. Playwright, performer, poet, cultural activist, educator and mentor, are some of the ways in which Fatima – Sis Fatts – has been described. The 2018 series is themed around ‘Conversations in and about our city’, and in thinking about this Sis Fatts shared her thoughts about what was happening in her hometown, Langa. She had been moved by current happenings in Langa: on that day lives had been lost as a result of shootings at the Langa taxi rank; earlier in the week she had facilitated a dialogue about the cultural sensitivity / insensitivity of the controversial film, Inxeba: The Wound. Thoughtful discussion emerged from her provocation in a reflective environment. Thank you Sis Fatts!

Sharing points of view at Supper Club, and inviting Fatima to end the session with her poem ‘Madam, please’ which she did. A fitting end to a lovely session.

‘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.