Executive director update – team meetings

 

Every morning a team meeting was held to discuss any logistical issues and go over the schedule for the day, as well as begin with any thoughts about what we expected we might encounter that day. At the end of each day, we had group reflection time to talk about our observations, feelings and responses to the day’s experience.

The fellows also had several opportunities to bond over meals, drinks at a shabeen, outings, exercising and sharing living space.

Teach with Africa organized an outing for this Saturday July 5, which will include a docent tour of the District 6 Museum and lunch and a tour of the lovely Company Gardens. The tour of this museum was specifically chosen for the fellows because it provides amazing documentation and opportunity for reflection on the pain of apartheid and what the people experienced – the exhibits puts faces and names to the concepts that we have all read about. Darcy and Amy toured it last week and believe that is an essential part of the team’s orientation. The fellows will learn about this district, which until the 1970s “was home to almost a tenth of the city of Cape Town’s population. In 1965, the apartheid government, as it had done in Sophiatown in 1957, declared District Six ‘white’. More than 60,000 people were forcibly uprooted and relocated onto the barren plains of the Cape Flats. In the process, over a century of history, of community life, of solidarity amongst the poor and of achievement against great odds, was imperiled.
The District Six Museum Foundation was established in 1989 and launched as a museum in 1994 to keep alive the memories of District Six and displaced people everywhere. It came into being as a vehicle for advocating social justice, as a space for reflection and contemplation and as an institution for challenging the distortions and half-truths which propped up the history of Cape Town and South Africa. As an independent space where the forgotten understandings of the past are resuscitated, where different interpretations of that past are facilitated through its collections, exhibitions and education programmes, the Museum is committed to telling the stories of forced removals and assisting in the reconstitution of the community of District Six and Cape Town by drawing on a heritage of non-racialism, non-sexism, anti-class discrimination and the encouragement of debate.” District 6 Museum web site.
This group tour experience will allow the fellows to have a shared opportunity to reflect, discuss and explore this history and context as well as their own reactions and feelings to the visual, aural and collective sharings of District 6 residents through the museum exhibits.

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