Saturday, September 1, 2007

Jack Reporting #4-2 District Six Museum

(1) 15 Rand to enter the place. Quiet. Reverential. A woman at the reception desk looking happy to see us. A sign in visitor book. Typical museum stuff.

(2) We meet Noor…our guide. He’s busy and asks us to wait for a few minutes. So we look around.

(3) A pyramid of street signs from the destroyed streets…saved.

(4) A map on the floor with names showing where the displaced used to live.

(5) I’m sure SAJ has done better at the history of District Six, so I’ll just add these few observations…

(5-a) I am reminded of Japantown in SF.

(5-b) Noor’s grandfather had 30 children. What’s that about!?

(5-c) A remarkable installation of a District Six home and its artifacts that have been semi-plastered into a wall with Apartheid laws printed over it all.

(5-d) Stairs…

(5-e) and this is it. In the back, a daycare. A museum with a living daycare center. Children at lunch singing their grace… Laughing and eating their meals to the sound of their teacher singing, “food is good, we love food.” The past and the future all in one.

(6) What is “Colour”? There was a black police force, a coloured police force, and a white police force all enforcing the Apartheid law. District Six was raised by the people of colour against the people of colour. That’s a hard one for me. I am so American and white.


Video tour of District Six Museum:

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