District Six Museum in Zonnebloem, Cape Town, Western Cape
The District Six Museum is located in what used to be a residential area called The Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town. The museum is only four blocks away from the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. It was established in 1994 and focuses on the former life, experiences and the forced removal of a group of people from their homes. The museum is more than just a museum, it is a living memorial and its purpose is to recognise and validate the people of District Six as well as presenting to the public a living history of the area. The museum is housed in two different buildings:
- District Six Museum in 25A Buitenkant Street
- Home Coming Centre in 15 Buitenkant Street
District Six was a lively mixed community made up of artisans, labourers, freed slaves and immigrants. The more prosperous people moved to the suburbs and in time the area became neglected. In 1966 the area was declared by the Group Areas Act of 1950 to be for white people only and all the other nationalities had to leave. Approximately 60 000 people were re-located to an area called the Cape Flats, in a remote area of Cape Town. The houses in District Six were then demolished. District Six is now a National Heritage Site and is in the process of re-populating again by many of the people who were originally expelled.
The museum has showcased many diverse exhibitions from the wealth of talent available in the country such as:
- Conceptual Artists
- Curators and Young Writers
- Sculptors and Painters
- Teachers and Academics
- Visual Artists and Musicians
This exhibition was launched in 2000 and focuses on the structure of the District and documenting aspects of the life of the people in this area. It covers aspects of the people's lives at that time and the effects of the re-location on the generations that followed. This includes the social, cultural and economic aspects of these people's lives.
This exhibit is a collective contribution by Arts, Design and Technology students from:
- Aalto University of Helsinki, Finland
- Cape Town Peninsula University of Technology
The question that this exhibition asks is," How can we create the future we want?" and it uses the ground-breaking creative work of the students to present answers to the questions.
- A coffee shop, open Mondays to Saturdays, serving the visitor with much needed refreshment after a tour of the museum
- Disabled facilities are available in the form of an elevator and a ramp
- The Little Wonder Store - a bookshop replica of the one in Hanover Street, once owned by Mrs Stern
- Virtual tours of the permanent exhibitions
- A Musical Walk Through District Six - a walk from the museum, through a few streets with a musician, including a video at the start and a short concert at the end, inside the Home Coming Centre. This tour is only offered on request and for groups of more than 10 people
- District Encounters - includes site walks, home visits, as well as a focused tour of the museum and meeting ex residents
- Group tours for schools
- Memories of the East City - a walk through destroyed building sites and still existent ones around the museum area
- Never, Never Again - visits to sights that remind people to stand together for their rights to dignity
- Stories of Hope Tour - visits to two families who have had their lives restored in the District
- Sunset walks - a tour to four main sights
- Tours inside the museum
We offer guided tours from Monday to Saturday at 10h00, 11h00, 12h00 and 14h00.
Please refer to their website under Contact Details.
Please note that we open on Sundays by appointment only.
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