Photographer: Jan Gresshoff


Last Days of District Six

The Last Days of District Six showcased 60 photographs taken by architect Jan Greshoff. He explored this part of the city through the lens of his camera.

The photographs evoke a premonition of a largely unpeopled place, a ghost town in the making. At the same time, the almost etched, tonal images illuminate the public space and architectural landscape of District Six in rich detail, suggesting the possibility of resurrection. Churches, mosques, cinemas and corner shops, as well as colonnaded walkways, steps, schoolyards and aged buildings, the detailed latticework, were all features of the built environment which shaped the setting of inner-city life and gave meaning to District Six as a place. These detailed elements of the surface texture of Greshoff’s images connected with a landscape of nostalgia, and hint at the possibility of pleasurable access to a lost reality. They resonate with a desire to testify to “having been there”.

The Jan Greshoff collection of 800 images forms part of the Museum’s permanent photographic collection.