South Africa remembers the struggle against Apartheid


Live, painted and mirrored figures at entrance to Apartheid Museum

Those who are passionate about politics will find South Africa’s museums as exciting as its game reserves. There are two that I visit every time I’m in the country – the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, big, architecturally daring, emotionally overwhelming; and the District Six Museum in Cape Town, small, intimate, focusing on just one neighborhood obliterated in the 60s and 70s by the Apartheid laws.

The Apartheid Museum can be exhausting, the scope of the story spanning centuries and virtually the entire world. District Six Museum is comfortable, homey if melancholy. You would want to live in District Six if you were somehow transported to South Africa in the 40s or 50s, whatever your race or religion. Christian, Muslim, Jew, it didn’t matter.

My Pigeons Come Home

Writers Room - District Six Museum. Writers mourn the loss of a community to racism.

To the architects of Apartheid, that nasty, Rube Goldbergesque and uniquely South African system of racial separation, District Six was an abomination. The races were living together, even having sex, and you could listen to jazz and smoke marijuana! The place had to go. In 1968 it was declared a white area and the bulldozing of houses and forced removals began.

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