Samstag, 31. März 2012

Ein Museum - District Six Museum

District Six - Museum. Kapstadt. Südafrika. - „District Six was named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the process of removals and marginalisation had begun. The first to be 'resettled' were black South Africans, forcibly displaced from the District in 1901. As the more prosperous moved away to the suburbs, the area became a neglected ward of Cape Town. In 1966 it was declared a white area under the Group Areas Act of 1950, and by 1982, the life of the community was over. 60 000 people were forcibly removed to barren outlying areas aptly known as the Cape Flats, and their houses in District Six were flattened by bulldozers. The District Six Museum, established in December 1994, works with the memories of these experiences and with the history of forced removals more generally.“


Mission Statement: „The Museum seeks to develop policies relating to heritage and memory that are both grounded in and seek to develop the interests of the poor and dispossessed, specifically:
1. The District Six Museum is a heritage project that seeks to serve the interests of the victims of the various forms of forced removals that occurred in District Six, the larger city of Cape Town and in other parts of South Africa.
2. The Museum seeks to place itself at the heart of the process of reconstruction of District Six and Cape Town through working with the memories and experiences of dispossessed people. It offers itself as a center for former residents of District Six and others to recover, explore and critically engage with the memories and understandings of their District Six and apartheid pasts, for the purpose of remaking the city of Cape Town.
3. The Museum seeks to stimulate the recovery and development of different forms of knowledge of the city, identity and community, and to use these in debates, discussions and policy development initiatives around diversity, difference, inequality, injustice and the future of the city.
4. The Museum seeks to develop alliances and partnerships with dispossessed communities in South Africa and other parts of the world, with non-governmental organisations, government and others in its quest to open up debate and discussion around heritage policy development.“
 “For us, the museum is a forum of people, a space of conversation, debate and transaction, where research, public scolarship and museum aesthetics have been combined with community forms of governance and accountability.”
„The museum contains a lively collection of photographs, articles and personal accounts depicting life before and after the removals. There are usually a couple of musicians at the back, tinkering away at their guitars and tin pipes and adding immeasurably to the atmosphere of the place. Highlights include a large map covering most of the ground floor on which ex-residents have been encouraged to mark their homes and local sights. The Namecloth is particularly poignant: a 1.5-m-wide length of cloth has been provided for ex-residents to write down their comments, part of which hangs by the entrance. It has grown to over 1 km, and features some moving thoughts. A display in the back room looks at the forced removals from the Kirstenbosch area.“


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