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.

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Panel Discussion: The Politics, culture and pedagogy of representation

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

The panel discussion will interrogate some of the often contentious issues confronting photographers and researchers who work with communities facing despair of one kind or another. It is often in the process of curating the lives of others that a line is drawn between rendering the subjects in a way that is demeaning or dignified with a lot of grey in between.

Panelists will include Giorgio Miescher (University of Basel); Jeremy Silvester (Museums Association of Namibia); Tina Smith (District Six Museum); Martha Akawa (University of Namibia)

Saturday, 20th February 2016 \ 10am – 12pm \ D6M Homecoming Centre, Gallery, 15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town \ Contact Zahra: 021 4667200 \ education@districtsix.co.za

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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″

Buitenkant street panorama_HRes_Text

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

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GiselaPieters,OlgaGaroes1 WilhelmineKatjimune

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

INSIDE KOBANE – photo exhibition and documentary film screening

Open for viewing on 4 June 2015, from 5pm

Film screening and discusion starts at 6:30pm

District Six Museum Homecoming Centre,

Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

Cape Town-based journalist, photographer and independent documentary filmmaker Yazeed Kamaldien will showcase his photos and 23-minute documentary film INSIDE KOBANE in Cape Town on June 4.

Kamaldien traveled to Kobane, Syria, in March 2015 to uncover the humanitarian impact of global terror group Islamic State (IS) on the local population.

Kobane is a humanitarian disaster with countless homes and buildings destroyed in clashes as Islamic State fighters battled against Kurdish military and American-led coalition airstrikes.

Kamaldien travelled to refugee camps in Turkey, where Kurdish refugees displaced by Islamic State fighters have been seeking safety.

His photographs depict scenes from the Kurdish refugee camps in Turkey, as well as what Kobane looks like at the moment.

The film offers personal stories from Kobane, as well as interviews with officials on how they intend to assist refugees and help rebuild their lives.

Kamaldien says his intention is to raise awareness of the humanitarian situation. “My work often is about bringing to the public consciousness the stories of people who have suffered or are marginalized. I want to connect readers and audiences with these stories and people that they would perhaps never have encountered,” he says.

The photographic exhibition and film screening is supported from the District Six Museum as well as the Kurdish Human Rights Action Group who will be part of a discussion on human rights, displacement and the Kurdish plight after the film screening.

This event is on the same night as  First Thursdays that intends to expose inner-city creative efforts to the public.

For more information contact Yazeed Kamaldien on yazkamaldien@gmail.com or 082-682-2438.

MEMORY AGAINST FORGETTING: A photographic journey through South Africa’s history 1946 – 2010.

Meet Ranjth Kally in conversation with Kalim Rajab

BOOK LAUNCH at the DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM, 25A Buitenkant Street.
THURSDAY 21 May, 6 for 6.30pm
RSVP to enquiries@quivertree.co.za / 021 616808

‘Durban-born Ranjith Kally’s award-winning photographic career has spanned more than four decades. Much of his work was published in DRUM magazine where he worked between 1955 and 1985…’

He captured iconic scenes, such as his portrait Umkumbane, which has come to symbolise the shimmering jazz age of African townships in the 1950s. When Miriam Makeba returned to Maseru, Lesotho, for a concert for black South Africans at the height of apartheid, Kally too ventured to Lesotho and returned home with a remarkable image of an exiled singer poised between joy and heartbreak. And in a series of unflinching portraits, he documented with probity the horror of the forced removals in Natal. In short, the wider appreciation of his contribution to our struggle for dignity needs to remembered and fully embraced for current South Africans intent on honouring their past.

Presented by the Book Lounge and Quivertree Publications

For more information:

About the book

About the author

Info sheet

Current Exhibition on at the D6M Homecoming Centre

MOVIE SNAPS

Cape Town Remembers differently

An exhibition of ‘Movie Snaps’ street photographs curated by Siona O’Connell

On the 31st of January Dr Siona O’Connell’s Movie Snaps: Cape Town Remembers Differently exhibition was opened at the District Six Museum’s Homecoming Centre. It was opened to the public  by Professor Brian O’Connell, former rector of the University of the Western Cape.
The exhibition uses street photographs taken by the Movie Snaps Studio in the Cape Town city centre both before and during the height of apartheid. These geographically specific embedded photographs depicted South Africans of all races in intimate situations. Thousands of these images were taken across several decades and are found in almost every home across the Cape Flats and Atlantis as well as in the homes of Jewish Capetonians on the Atlantic Seaboard. Dr O’Connell explains: “These pictures illustrate moments of ordinary living in extraordinary times”; yet until now their enormous value has been largely unrecognised. O’ Connell continues: “These photographs offer a counterpoint to the familiar narrative of apartheid’s series of carefully composed images of burning tires, mass protests and violence and urge a consideration of the afterlives of apartheid.”

Read more on the Centre for Curating the Archive website: http://tinyurl.com/nfqynjb

From 31st January to 28th February 2015

Open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 3.30pm

Free entrance

D6M Homecoming Centre

15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town