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New art exhibition inspired by the history of District Six

District Six Museum Homecoming Centre. Picture: Supplied

District Six Museum Homecoming Centre. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 7, 2022

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Artworks by Africa’s creatives, the likes of Zanele Muholi, Thania Petersen, Rahima Ismail, Segun Aiyesan, Lionel Davis and Sma Rajoale Kumalo, are displayed in the District Six Homecoming Centre.

Themed “Salon Afrique – a Homecoming Reimagined” aims to celebrate the continent’s diverse cultures and heritage.

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Curated by Beathur Mgoza Baker and Sara Bint Moneer Khan, “Salon Afrique – a Homecoming Reimagined” is inspired by the history of District Six, a community and unique historical and socio-cultural microcosm for diversity.

“District Six was a place of the immigrant experience and journeying toward creating a newfound sense of home and belonging for many different cultural groups in Cape Town, South Africa. It was a melting pot where everyone could fit in,” Baker says.

“The concept of the exhibition is based on the spirit of neighbourliness, knowing and embracing each other’s cultures and diversity by starting at home, right on the street where you live, with your neighbours because they are often our first point of contact and personal encounters with cultural diversity and its richness.”

Baker says as curators they are looking at preserving the legacy of District Six while representing and re-imagining the notion of belonging through the work and ideas of over 30 artists from across Africa.

“The artists act as a bridge to create resonance and help us make personal shifts in attitude and perception in unhurried and deeply personal ways.”

“The artists represent the diverse languages, food, histories and origins of many South Africans, sometimes existing only on the margins of our country.

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“The physical space is also a place of homecoming, that honours memory, history and narratives of the past and new narratives of the future; a non-physical place of feeling that we, at last, can belong, and co-exist peacefully while sharing with our neighbours that which we hold dear about ourselves, our histories and traditions.”

Solitary Lover III. by Theophilus Tetteh. Picture: Madlozi Art Gallery.

Baker’s looking forward to seeing the different cultures celebrated through the expression of art.

“We love young artists and children to see their own faces, bodies, skin colours and spiritual faiths looking back at them from the walls something quite rare and a factor we are proud to have been able to achieve as representation matters.

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“This is thanks to the artists that we can showcase voice and visibility through their work and ideas made manifest.”

The initiative is a partnership between District Six Museum and the curators from Madlozi Art and Heritage, and Mashurah Arts.

The Toil of Man by Segun Aiyesan. Picture: Supplied

Other exhibitors at the “Salon Afrique – a Homecoming Reimagined” include Husein Essop, King Debs, George Masarira, Lisolomzi Pikoli, Nandipha Jantjies and Tafadzwa Yusuf Durodola.

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The exhibition is set to run until July 9.

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