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September 23, 2009

Iziko Museums celebrates Heritage Week

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Iziko Museum on Greenmarket Square, photo courtesy Danie van der Merwe

To celebrate Heritage Day on September 24, Iziko Museums is offering the public a unique and exciting programme of events. To further commemorate the occasion, entrance to all Iziko Museums will be free to the public from September 21-27 2009.

On Heritage Day, proceedings begin at 10h00 with some “Klopse” culture, as the internationally acclaimed Western Cape Marching Band escorts visitors from the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum in Wale Street to the Iziko South African Museum in the Company’s Garden. Here, you will be entertained by a full programme of events, starting with a marching band display in the amphitheatre and a visit to the Good Hope FM Outside Broadcast, where you can meet DJ Suga. Learn the 2010 diski dance and experience a day out for the whole family. Visit the South African Museum, the South African National Gallery and the Slave Lodge, and experience our unique cultural heritage with exhibitions and guided tours.

At 13h30 and 15h30 visitors can enjoy a live re-enactment of the life and times of the famous Marie Koopmans-De Wet, as narrated by Ms Nothing, servant of the elegant socialite. The performance by the Rooster Theatre Collective at the immaculately preserved house museum, Koopmans-De Wet House, will be set against a background of women singing and beading. Entry to this performance costs R30 and seating is limited. For bookings, contact Sibulele on +27 21 464 3280.

Then, at the South African Museum amphitheatre at 16h00, MyCapeTown, a one-hour concert showcasing the diversity of Cape Town’s music, stories, sounds and people, including the praise-singer Samkelo Tukulula Blaq Pearl, Mac McKenzie and the Composers Workshop from Bridgetown, and leading Gugulethu performers Maveriq and Nosipho Singiswa.

Visitors can also catch a unique fusion of music and ritual embodied by the shamanic vocal performance of Ernestine Deane at the Slave Lodge in White Paper Boats.

Further activities take place at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Iziko Slave Lodge and the Iziko South African Museum, including free planetarium shows, film screenings, guided tours of exhibitions and a craft expo by the Cape Craft and Design Institute, with programmes running until 22h00! 

And of course, for children, there will be a host of activities on Heritage Day.

On Saturday, September 26 at 09h00, Iziko Museums hosts a symposium commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Khoi/Dutch confrontation of 1659, which will be opened by the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Rob De Vos. Other speakers include Professor Nigel Penn, Ron Martin and Zenzile Khoisan. Entrance is free and seating is limited. For bookings, contact Lungi on +27 21 481 3800.

Free access to exhibitions for Heritage Week

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Iziko South African Museum, photo courtesy Damien du Toit

At Iziko South African National Gallery, visitors will have access to a variety of exhibitions for the whole of heritage week.

The Everyday and the Extraordinary showcases three decades of architectural design by maverick architect Professor Jo Noero. Noero is an internationally renowned South African architect and teacher who believes that architecture should be both beautiful and useful. The exhibition offers an attempt to chart South Africa’s cultural, social and political change through architecture and to trace Noero’s contribution to the South African socio-political and architectural landscapes.

From Fire into Form explores a variety of finishes, processes and ways of using bronze in sculpture. The exhibition includes Italian works dating back to the 1500s, as well as contemporary South African pieces, and has more than 100 works on exhibition. The exhibition is backed up by explanatory texts and an interactive CD-ROM that will answer visitors’ questions about bronzing.

The exhibition Jol deals with partying in South Africa. The exhibition features photographs by Billy Monk, renowned for his gritty pictures of the Cape Town Catacombs Club from the 1960s, as well as photographs by Graham Goddard and paintings and prints around the subject of “jolling”.

Cross-Pollination: South African Art Between 1930 and 1950 takes a new look at work by South African artists such as Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, Wolf Kibel, Lippy Lipshitz and Gerard, while Choices showcases new art bought in the past year by the National Gallery.

At the South African Museum, visitors can see two high-profile exhibitions. Subtle Thresholds is a visually and conceptually fascinating exhibition about the representational taxonomies of disease. The exhibition is curated by artist Fritha Langerman and uses objects from social and natural history, as well as original artworks by Langerman herself. Africa’s Wealth Exploration: Use and Conservation of Biodiversity is an interactive educational exhibition that focuses on the awareness and understanding of Africa’s biodiversity and the value of conserving this biodiversity for the future.

At the Slave Lodge, you can see Biko: The Quest For a True Humanity, a travelling exhibition developed by the Apartheid Museum, which honours the memory of South African political activist Bantu Stephen Biko and his death in police detention in 1977.

Iziko Museums invites one and all to join its Heritage Day celebrations. For more information and the full programme, visit www.iziko.org.za.

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