In the words of Vincent Kolbe, a former resident of District Six and a founding member of the museum: “The museum represents a living memorial and is more than just a static display. Through this space we have created an arena which enables us to reaffirm our identity, celebrate our heritage and confront the complexities of our history.”
District Six was one of the more well-known of the despicable socio-geographic engineering endeavors of the apartheid government. Better known because it was so brazenly open, on the slopes of Table Mountain, where everybody could see, and where everybody was affected. 60 000 people of colour were forcibly removed and marginalized to the furthest outskirts of the city, effectively laying waste to vast tracts of vibrant culture, homes and lives.
The museum was established in 1994 to memorialize this event and the lessons we need to derive from it. Since then a large number of South African visual and conceptual artists, sculptors, curators, painters, musicians, writers, students and teachers have left their creative expressions on these walls and in these spaces.
It is a sobering experience, juxtaposed by the love and creativity shown by the artists, perhaps the best way to fight the bulldozers is with the brush and the mind.
To take advantage of the gorgeous weather this time of year offers isn't only about beach and water, grab your cocktail dress and finery, there are some brilliant events in and around Cape Town to take in.
This week we focus on a few select upcoming prestigious events, specifically because tickets need to be secured as soon as possible, they are that popular.
CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
Our annual jazz spectacular that is approaching its 20th year is here again! Cape town International Jazz Festival of 2017 will open its doors on the 31st of April/1st of March and let the music flood out. From The Rudimentals to En Vogue, Skyjack, The Soweto String Quartet, Laura Mvula, Escalandrum and Dope Saint Jude, this stellar line up is bound to entertain with the finest Jazz the world has to offer.
An international ensemble of the finest established and cutting edge syncopation experts for you to enjoy, in great venues, with amazing sound. With 5 stages hosting more than 40 artists performing over 2 nights, 37000 people are expected to stream through this fantastic event.
We recommend you book now, there are only weekend passes left. Also, don’t forget that in order to properly enjoy this elevated musical experience to the fullest you’ll want the finest accommodation the mother city has to offer. Chat to us and we’ll arrange something for you.
“The Globe” of Cape Town, which has been serving up Shakespearean theatre under starlit heavens since the first showing of The Taming of the Shrew (29 January 1956), is another one of those local things you do not want to neglect. Set inside a lush park in Wynberg, the annual "Shakespeare-in-the-Park" is a whole new way to experience theatre, without air-conditioning, house lights, or an auditorium.
The venue seats 720 people and we would advise that you take a blanket, it does get a bit chilly towards the end of the evening. There is a small kiosk where you can pick up snacks, hot chocolate and coffee/tea and it’s run by the local Rotary club.
In terms of local attractions “Some are born great, others achieve greatness” and this one has done both. The venue has been amazing from the beginning, and the unrelenting passion of the theatre practitioners that perform and direct here, have made it fantastic. This year they are putting on “Twelfth Night”, one of Shakespeare’s best known plays, from the 17th January until Saturday, 25 February 2017.
Short Synopsis: In Twelfth Night Orsino courts the Countess Olivia. Shipwrecked Viola disguises herself and takes on the name Cesario, and enters the Duke’s service. By the end, Viola and the Duke are married, and Olivia weds a man named Sebastian.
Discover the best of the Cape Winelands, Nederburg.
We recently had the good fortune to be invited to the Nederburg Wine Estate, where they rolled out the burgundy carpet to us and took us on a cellar tour, a tasting and lunch at the amazing Red Table restaurant.
This week we will showcase all three of these activities at the estate of this icon of South African wine. Nederburg is synonymous with South African wine, and has a place in the hearts of most locals, for good reason.
South African wine has a history dating back to 1659, but we will “fast forward” to 1791 when Philippus Wolvaart spent 5600 guilder for the parcel of land between the Berg and Palmiet rivers. This was the first pebble in what was to become a landslide of internationally award winning wines, wrought with ingenuity and passion, from the heart of this lush Eden in Paarl. He immediately recognised this “far flung” location (66,5 km from Cape Town, two days cart ride at the time) for its potential in viticulture, and built the foundations for an epic journey of grapes, discovery and wine.
Iziko is a isiXhosa term that signifies “hearth”, a place for gathering and exchanging ideas, stories and oral history. It is also the term for a collection of 12 national museum sites in Cape Town that do sterling work in the spheres of history, social history and the arts. Several of these can be accessed through a half day walk which includes the Company Gardens (originally laid in the 1650’s).
The South African National Gallery and the Michaelis Collection showcase historic art as well as curated collections and the latest offerings by the very talented students of the Michaelis School of Fine Art. A stone’s throw away you will find the South African Museum of local natural history and the Iziko Planetarium that will help you make sense of the night skies in the Southern Hemisphere.
A stroll through the Garden’s (and the inevitable squirrel and pigeon feeding that accompanies this) will take you to the Slave Lodge and St. George’s Cathedral (the former seat of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, our first black archbishop and legendary activist and peace broker). Parallel to the Gardens you will find Kloof Street which becomes Long Street, both of which contain deli’s, restaurants, clothing stores and the melting pot of curios, The Pan African Market, where you can pick up anything from Mali to Morocco, Kenya to Cape Town.