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/

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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

 

 

‘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

SUPPORT OUR CAMPAIGN: Declare District Six a National Heritage Site

#D6HeritageSite  #D6NationalHeritageSite

Why a National Heritage Site?

After the dramatic announcement on 11 February 1966 of the declaration of District Six as a white group area, a number of protest organisations and committees grew, which included the District Six Defence Committee, the District Six Association, the Friends of District Six, the Rent, Rates and Residents’ Association, and the Hands Off District Six Campaign Committee being amongst some of the better-known ones. In addition, the institutions in the area engaged in protest actions involving their different constituencies. This included schools such as Trafalgar and Harold Cressey; churches such as the Catholic, Methodist and Anglican Churches.

We have come a long way since the Hands Off District Six Campaign of the late 1980s, the eager anticipation of the first photographic exhibitions, the heady days of elections and national renewal in the 1990s.

Much has been achieved, against considerable odds.  Land restitution is a reality, even if it remains fraught with political challenges and challenges of delivery.  District Six is claiming its place in the pantheon of formative narratives of the nation.

The District Six Museum bears the scars and traces of this process of nation-building at a very local, but profoundly global scale.  It has emerged from a humble, community oriented space into international prominence, celebrated in many journals, books, and reviews.  It remains the most successful example of a community based project of its kind, an object lesson for local and international projects seeking to engage people in the remaking of their past and its mobilisation for democratic ends.

Yet, the greatest achievements of the museum lie squarely in its future.  The power of the site of District Six remains its greatest asset.  It continues to speak to many thousands in the city, and the rest of the country of the demand that we build cities ‘not of races, but of people’ and that this simple demand becomes a component for every vision in every community in the nation.

Indeed, District Six takes its place alongside Sophiatown, Cato Manor, and other iconic removals as the pre-eminent narrative of forced removals in South Africa.  The tale of its destruction captures the destructive impact of an idea called apartheid, and its attempt to destroy a competing idea, namely that South Africans could be citizens of a unified country based on universal principles.  Its induction into the national estate presents a perpetual opportunity to remind South Africans that we are to transcend this traumatic past and build on its ruins, the basis for a new citizenship in which we all share and celebrate.

The struggle for District Six should not, however, be seen as one which was waged independently of other struggles. It was one which found support in other community structures, particularly in the period of mass actions in the 1970s and 1980s. The success of the land restitution process in District Six benefited from similar struggles waged simultaneously elsewhere. So, just as District Six was a formative example to other communities and gave rise to strong political leadership, so too did it benefit from the supportive actions waged on other sites of struggle.

The implementation of the policy of forced removals has played an important part in the history of Cape Town, and District Six is but one of these areas so affected. The prominence of the District Six story provides a platform from which to investigate the impact of forced removals nationally, and to explore its ongoing impact on contemporary communities.

Like Ahmed Kathrada says of Robben Island, ‘While we will not forget the brutality of apartheid, we will not want Robben Island to be a monument to our hardship and suffering. We would want Robben Island to be a monument … reflecting the triumph of the human spirit against the forces of evil. A triumph of non-racialism over bigotry and intolerance. A triumph of a new South Africa over the old.’[1] In the same way, we believe that the District Six site can be an invaluable nation-building space.

[1] Kathrada, Ahmed

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USAKOS – Photographs Beyond Ruins: The old location albums, 1920’s-1960

This exhibition is a mobile version of the one housed at the Usakos Municipal Building, Namibia. It will open on Tuesday, 16 February at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, followed by a walk-about and panel discussion on Saturday, 20thFebruary (The politics, culture and pedagogy of representation) and it will be closed with the launch of a photo and video blog on Saturday, 12th March titled: Tell your story to a ‘born free’!

This mobile exhibition revolves around private photographic collections owned by four female residents of the small town in central Namibia called Usakos: Cecilie //Geises, Wilhelmine Katjimune, Gisela Pieters and Olga //Garoës. The photographic collections lay out the physical and social landscapes of the old location. They range from studio photography; images of particular location sites and buildings; photographs of mission congregations and school classes; music bands and football teams; and many portraits of men and women posing in front of the camera. Most images were taken by local or itinerant African photographers, and they evidence a vibrant aesthetic and visual culture in a cosmopolitan environment that made a stand against the containments and constrictions imposed by the politics of race.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 17th February to 16th March 2016

EXHIBITION OPENING

OPENING TALK: OMAR BADSHA

Tuesday, 16th February 2016
6 for 6.30pm
D6M Homecoming Centre, Gallery
15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

GPS: -33° 55′ 36.940707″, 18° 25′ 28.475475″

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Contact Zahra: 021 4667200 / reception@districtsix.co.za

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Usakos, a railway town

Usakos developed as one of the main hubs of first the German colonial and later the South African railway system. Its urban morphology was marked, from its early beginnings, by the policies of segregation and apartheid urban planning. The exhibition highlights a particularly traumatic moment in the town´s history, when in the early 1960s the apartheid administration began to remove African residents out of what was then called the old location into newly built townships that were geographically removed from those parts of the town subsequently reserved for ‘whites’.

The collectors and the collections

The four women and their photographic archives are part of a trans-generational network and practice of collecting and curating. Since their lives and those of their fellow residents have been deeply marked by the experience of forced removal, and concurrently by economic decay and socio-cultural disruption, their collections have become part of diverse discourses and practices of commemoration and memorialisation.

The women´s care for the photographs – the ways in which they have for several decades placed them in albums, displayed them in living rooms, shared them in conversations with family, friends and acquaintances, and stored them in handbags and boxes – is an expression of how these women´s small but continuous daily aesthetic acts powerfully countered the ruination of their living environments. This is why the collections transcend the concern to recover the past alone and also describe an ongoing reflection of the present inviting an opening into the future. The Usakos photographic collections then constitute forms and practices of collective mobilisation – of memory and experience, of vision and imaginary.

Paul Grendon

The resonances of the old location photographic collections in the past, present and future are taken up in the exhibition through the work of photographer Paul Grendon. His camera follows the traces and layers of the Usakos experience of colonialism and apartheid that remain visible in the physical and social landscape of the town: it exposes ruins of the old location houses, maps out a decaying railway infrastructure, but also explores the many ways in which residents of Usakos have and continue to relate to their environment, turning spaces of ruination into places of belonging.

The exhibition catalogue and content

The exhibition catalogue includes essays on photography and the urban history of Usakos; three image sections including a black and white one introducing the women collectors and their collections of historical photographs; and one section with colour photographs by Paul Grendon.

The exhibition consists of mobile panels on which are printed black and white photographs selected from the women’s collections and colour photographs by Paul Grendon. Additionally there are information panels and two large maps. The mobile exhibition is a newly produced version of the one produced for Namibia and another one for international travel.

Important to the process was the substantial involvement of students in the Usakos and Basel exhibitions. Students from the collaborating Universities of Basel and Namibia, participated in the mounting of the exhibition in Usakos and again in Basel. They also worked on joint oral history projects.

Usakos

The first exhibition opening was in the Usakos Municipality Building on 27 June 2015.  The opening event was planned by the Usakos Municipality in collaboration with the Museums Association of Namibia. The exhibition will permanently remain in Usakos and be integrated into the future local museum.

Europe & USA

A second exhibition was produced for Europe and America, and was opened in Paris at Sorbonne University on 7 July 2015.  The exhibition was then scheduled as part of the European Conference of African Studies in Paris on 8-10 July. Following Paris, it was presented at the Basler Afrika Bibliographien in Basel on 28 August 2015, and then at the University of Bielefeld on 7 November 2015. The following venues have been confirmed: the Regis West Gallery, Minneapolis on 5 April 2016 and then the Brunei Gallery, London on July 2017.

Southern Africa

The mobile version that will be at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, Cape Town in February 2016, is scheduled to go to the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, the University of Fort Hare in East London, and then the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. Eventually the exhibition will be handed over to the Museums Association of Namibia for further educational use in the country.

The exhibition is curated by Paul Grendon, Giorgio Miescher, Lorena Rizzo, and Tina Smith

PROJECT PARTNERS & FUNDERS

Carl Schlettwein Stiftung Basel

Centre for African Studies, University of Basel

District Six Museum

Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft BS

Max Geldner Stiftung Basel

Municipality of Usakos

Museums Association of Namibia

Pro Helvetia Johannesburg

Stiftung Mercator Schweiz

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

University of Namibia

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