Young Curators' Program
The Young Curators’ Programme is an extension of the District Six Museum’s Heritage Ambassador Programme modules that focus on research, performance of memory and exhibition design. It is participatory in nature and youth explore elements of the Museum’s archive by making it come alive for a contemporary intergenerational audience.
The inaugural 2012 programme was facilitated by intern, Isabel Panek, a university student from Berlin who immersed herself in our educational practice and worked under the guidance of the Museum’s Education Department. Youth were recruited from schools in Central Cape Town only as it was an unfunded project of the Museum. In September 2012 we completed a second YCP in partnership with the Constitutional Literacy and Service Initiative (Clasi).
Whispers From The Past
Young Curators' poetry
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
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
download young curators' profiles
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
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
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 Azizo Mtshabe