• Democracy’s Images: photography and visual art after apartheid - 1999

    The Museum put together its first international traveling exhibition in 1999 when we were invited by the Bildmuseet to participate in a South African photographic and visual art exhibition.

    The Bildmuseet is a small contemporary art museum, part of the University in Umea situated in the northern part of Sweden. The District Six exhibition was shown in parallel with a larger exhibition, Democracy’s Images: photography and visual art after apartheid. The two exhibitions focused on contemporary South African visual art and photography highlighting alternative museum practices. An accompanying seminar and conference was organised with the participation of South African artists and photographers.

    A selection of District Six material from the archive and elements of the Streets: retracing District Six exhibition was curated to provide a contextual background. The selection consisted of photographs by Janjse Wissema depicting intimate spaces and life in District Six, a video documentary Last Supper in Horstley Street, oral recordings, a recreation of the memory cloth and the street map of District Six.

    Katarine Pierre, the curator, recalls in an interview: “When you entered the exhibition you could hear recordings of people talking about their lives in District Six. We had the street map printed on black vinyl and blown up to 1m x 2m. This we stuck on the centre of the floor and covered with clear plastic so the public could walk over it. Something I was very happy about was the use of transparent sepias with extras of the memory cloth. We hung it with steels rods from the middle of the room over the street map. You could read personal testimonies about forced removals.”