The chief executive of the Castle Control Board, Calvyn Gilfellan, said: “The setting is deeply implicated in the colonial project of armed conquest, dispossession, marginalisation and brutalisation.
“The Castle will host this exhibition near the place where Krotoa was buried. It provides an opportunity to turn our past on its head and to continue the process of reconciliation and nation-building,” Gilfellan said.
The exhibition is said to encourage the audience to look deeply into the past because “we are in the middle of redefining ourselves now, and especially with this year’s election”.
Curator Coral Bijoux said that at a time when one reflects on political stalwarts and ideas of greatness and sacrifice, the Dreams, Wishes and Expectations_RECYCLED exhibition would become a moment of redress - looking into ourselves through the works displayed in selected rooms of the Castle.
“The Castle is a building imbued with our history of a past long gone that stands erect within our presence and forces us to contemplate its existence. It becomes a space where we can remember past generations and what transpired, where we lost our souls and how we regain them on our own terms,” said Bijoux.
The exhibition is filled with women’s voices and speaks defiantly into this space, daring audiences to listen and find opportunities for change in their own lives.
During the exhibition period, trained Castle guides will take visitors through the exhibition, while the curator will conduct walkabouts.
The exhibition opening on Friday is funded by the MTN SA Foundation.
The MTN Foundation’s art collection manager, Niel Nortje, said: “MTN is proud to include selected works from our collection in the exhibition.
Carefully selected pieces from the Voices of Women Collection will engage with artworks from MTN that include a work on Sarah Baartman titled Prospect: Saartjie Baartman by Penny Siopis; while a work titled Soft Gentle Depths, by Kwesi Owusu-Ankomah, reminds us of the masculine presence and the role men must play in bringing about equitable and respectful behaviour and change.”
The exhibition opens at 6pm with a poetry performance, Slave Dreams, by Malaika Ndlovu and keynote address by Professor Rozena Maart, the head of gender studies and director of the Centre for Critical Race Institute at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
It will run until April15.