They Can Destroy our Houses, They Can’t Destroy our Stories. How is a Collective Story the Key to Liberation?
June 7, 2017: The City’s Outcasts in Search of their History
Round table: Revisiting History From the Perspective of the Most Excluded
They Can Destroy our Houses, They Can’t Destroy our Stories. How is a Collective Story the Key to Liberation? – Bonita Bennett
District Six is a place in Cape Town, South Africa that is defined by absence. It is where the largest urban displacement in the Cape took place under Apartheid. Previously a diverse community, District Six was declared a ‘whites only’ area and others were forcibly removed. Homes and most of the material traces of the community were destroyed.
Over three decades, the dispersed residents of District Six continued to identify themselves as a community. Telling their stories in different ways and retaining community cultural traditions kept the vibrancy present in the imaginations of many. My presentation will reflect on some of these storytelling platforms and retained traditions, and comment on how they are referenced in the current programmes of the Museum, which are focused on the restitution of human rights.