Project & Programmes

Hip Hop Bioscope 2012 Q&A with Mama Goema film makers and musician  Hilton Schilder

Programme 1: Heritage Ambassador Programme (HAP)
Programme 2: Young Curators’ Programme (YCP)
Programme 3: Young Facilitators’ Programme (YFP)

Programme 2: Young Curators’ Programme (YCP)

The learning journeys forming part of the Young Curators’ Projects last between one and six months. They target creative youth in and out of schools between the ages of 15 – 23 years old.

The main features of the project include cooperative learning, storytelling, writing, poetry, visual art and performance. Youth are introduced to experienced artists in a series of master-classes that aim to spark curiosity about the different ways of seeing and storytelling. Partnerships with community- based organisations often result from requests for assistance with connecting young people at school, or those who are unemployed, to the stories of elders through oral history. They are designed so as to enable these organisations to develop and sustain their own programmes.

There are six modules which form the curriculum:

Module 1: Introduction – Identity, Culture and Learning

Module 2: Research and Conceptualisation

Module 3: Ways of Seeing: Photography and Videography

Module 4: City, Site, Community Explorations

Module 5: Oral History Practice

Module 6: Art in Public Places – Curatorial Practice and Activism

“The past is too important to leave only in the hands of historians”

Art in Public Places Workshop Series




The Museum has collaborated with the Burning Museum’s Scott Williams on three Art in Public Places learning journeys. This forms part of the Young Curators’ Programme, and youth are invited to work with experienced artists and District Six elders who lived during Apartheid. They develop relationships involving intergenerational storytelling. They combine archival research and contemporary photography to create artworks to mark sites in the city as places of memory.

Participants learn how to use photography, collage and design to produce wheat-paste artworks that illuminate specific stories from the past, particularly memories of places erased from the built environment. While there is some discussion of theory, the focus of workshops is largely practical, following a learning-by-doing approach. Works are produced in collaboration with former District Six residents and others who have experienced forced relocation or displacement, through juxtaposition of the past and the present.

As part of the project, participants attend master classes focused on knowledge-sharing, case studies and practise sessions. They then form a memory design lab with artists, ex-residents and storytellers for interviews, video shoots, and conceptual development of art work.

The outcomes for the participants include conceptualisation, production and installation of site specific wheat-paste artworks as representations of intergenerational conversations. They have also  installed some of these public artworks at community libraries and schools.

Documentation from the workshops will be shared online via a blog and District Museum social media accounts. This forms part of the extended programme of the Museum’s Education Department, called Tell your story to a ‘Born Free’.

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Suitcase Stories

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Photographer: Paul Grendon

Young Curators’ Project: Whispers from the past

Whispers from the Past was a project where school learners from different central city schools explored and documented the site through photography, writing and performance in seven days of workshops from 3 February – 17 March 2012. They spent long hours learning to fabricate and install their exhibition with the technical support of Museum staff and interns. The poems were written by the young curators who took part in the workshop.

I know why I am not so sad

If only we understood
All the emptiness and acting
Of the sleeping and waking
The ‘races’ we judge so blindly
And the hearts we pierce so unkindly
It was abolished, we came to secede
Now we see a clear picture of our history
Yet a different moment has allowed our
History to catch up with the present
In fact, I know why I am not so sad
Our politicians seem to brag
And some sophisticate the issue
Saying who belongs to which ‘race’ or nation
Whilst our society’s ravaged by poverty
Our liberty lacks practice
Those 1966 atrocities can never be old.
My people forgive me for I nag
But why did racial preservation come
to ruin our lifestyles?
How fortunate is everyone
in this world of misfortune?
Our unity is fading
Our destiny is trapped but
In truth, I know why
I am not so sad

Written by: St Lushi (2012)

A stranger’s call

As I saw my home being demolished a silent tear rolled down my cheek.
For all those homes that were destroyed and all those people that lost a place of hope and security.
It’s sad to watch something that you built with your soul come crumbling down with no good reason but pure discrimination.
It wasn’t always so raw and numb.
There were times when I used to enjoy living here.
There was Hanover Street where all the fun and action took place.
It had different shops and everyone worked hand in hand helping each other out.

But now it has turned to nothing but silence
“Someone please help!” …is what everyone is thinking.
Some people might ask why we don’t fight back.
But how do you fight back against people who have power over you?
The fear that I saw in my family’s eyes broke my heart.
I felt helpless and weak.
And that is a story many of us didn’t get to tell …

Written by: Asanda Mgaba (2012)

Whisper loud people of District Six

We were forced out with no say
Only whispers were heard by them,
Laughter was packed up in our suitcases
Moved by tears of sadness,
Music was our lasting gift,
Trembling sounds of bulldozers moving near
but don’t cry. . .
Memories don’t lie
I speak loud for those who fear,
Removal was something our happiness conquered by resurrection of our hearts the Klopse’s beating drums of the times we had none, none but love for those of the present.
So listen and you’ll hear the whisperers of the past.
Do not fear the memories we youth hold dear.

Written by Sitka Lombard (2012)

A stranger’s call

I am a soul that died in a Sharpeville massacre
…fell down but never died!
Do you still remember the
Mjojo South Africa?

What am I fighting for?
I’m fighting for freedom!
Freedom is the law of nature.

Hook the fish and pull it out
of the water…
Give me what I want to help me next to you.

South Africa we love you.
We took you down from
dirty vicious hands and put you where we are today.

Written by Amanda Ndika (2012)

Back in the days of District Six

I sometimes wonder why we were removed from our homes?
Leaving memories and past behind.
Houses bulldozed like ants eating from eroded candy.
If only they knew how it feels leaving our homes of years for someone else to occupy the land for a while.
I remember the day like it was yesterday… though I wasn’t born but still, my roots lay there.
THEY never know how we feel!
This is our Africa yet we experience hardships
taking us back to segregation by race …
Africa you are my home!

Let us unite!

Africa one spirit!

Written by Sitka Lombard (2012)