District 6

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District 6 is a community museum which uses story-telling to recover and display memories. It tells the story of the forced removal of an entire black community from Capetown. In 1966 under the Group Areas Act of 1950, District 6 was declared a White Group Area. In the next decade over 60,000 people were forcibly removed to the barren lands outside Capetown known as the Cape Flats and their streets and homes flattened by bulldozers. The District 6 Museum contains the collective memories of their eviction. I don’t know who saved the street signs. Its one of those questions you don’t think to ask at the time. Or the examples of the mass manufactured signs with the messages SLEGS BLANKES and VIR GEBRUIK DEUR BLANKES but these remain stark reminders of the inhumanity of Apartheid. The floor of District 6 is a street map of the area. The tapestries hanging from the ceiling have been created by the people who lived there. The white sheets are an invitation for visitors to write down and leave behind their stories. As an outsider, I can’t comment with any authority because I wasn’t there but I can bring back pictures as a reminder of the need to celebrate diversity and not discriminate against it.

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