Freedom Day exhibition comes to life at District Six Museum Homecoming Centre

District Six Museum Homecoming Centre in Buitenkant Street. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

District Six Museum Homecoming Centre in Buitenkant Street. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 24, 2024


Cape Town - The District Six Museum Homecoming Centre is providing visitors with visual splendour to marvel at over the coming days in an array of creative content through an exhibition kicking off this Freedom Day.

Among the list of exhibits at the historic venue, is a journey through District Six via a virtual reality tour.

For the past two months, eight artists have been working collaboratively in the District Six Museum space, to create the exhibition scheduled to open on Saturday, April 27.

The project forms part of a collaboration initiated by the international organisation SH|FT (Safe Havens Freedom Talks), which nurtured links between the District Six Museum in Cape Town, CCU Tlatelolco in Mexico City, Borderlands Art in Kampala, and Co-Culture/Studio Khaled Barakeh in Berlin.

Working under the broad banner of “Routes of Resistance”, each leg of the project has curated a site-specific work, taking into account contextual differences as well as synergies.

With the celebrated milestone of 30 years of democracy in South Africa, the Wear and Tear exhibition shines a light on April 27, 1994, when all South Africans went to the polls for the first time, heralding the end of apartheid and ushering in a new, democratic dispensation.

The title of the exhibition also plays on the word “wear”, as the final product of the exhibitionary project is wearable art in the form of an edition of eight t-shirts.

The eight artists involved in the project are Dean Hutton, Iman Zanele Omar, Lindsay Petersen, Minenkulu Ngoyi, Randy Hartzenberg, Levy Pooe, Hugo Kabeya and Donovan Ward.

Museum Director Zeenat Patel-Kaskar . Picture: Supplied

Museum director, Zeenat Patel-Kaskar, said: “While the exhibition pays homage to collaborative resistance practice in South Africa, we believe that the powerful expression of wearable art has the power to reignite active citizenry. This is one way to guard against one of the greatest challenges of our time – which is apathy.”

Wear and Tear will be open to the public from Monday April 29 to May 30.

In another exhibition, the museum teams up with Loud Rabbits Agency and Academy of Digital Arts Game Alum for the virtual reality expo, The District Six Experience: A Walk Through Time, which kicks off on May 4.

It invites users to immerse themselves in and experience parts of District Six.

Its purpose is to express South African history and connect to legacy through a new lens using cutting-edge game technology.

The never-before exhibition attempts to capture District Six through immersion that visitors can experience.

Patel-Kaskar explains: “Crucial to the work that we do in curating memories of the past, is the need to respond to a world that is fast replacing tangible experiences with virtual ones. With the potential to present some challenges for an institution such as ourselves, we embrace the onset of virtual reality through the District Six Museum’s position as an evolving institution that emphasises progress.

“Any innovation must be produced sensitively, which we believe we have achieved after receiving the endorsement from our cohort of former District Six residents.

Admission is by registration only.