Minster of Arts and Culture visits Iziko South African National Gallery

  • Posted: Apr 4, 2013

Minster of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, visited the exhibition, Umhlaba 1913-2013: Commemorating the 1913 Land Act, currently on show at the Iziko South African National Gallery, today, 3 April 2013. The 100 year commemoration of the Land Act provides an unparalleled opportunity to tell stories of the land in ways that have not been told before. Minister Mashatile joined one of the curators, Pam Warne, of Iziko Museums of South Africa, for a walk-about of the exhibition and Gallery.

Mashatile echoed the sentiments of the Freedom Charter when he said: “We are building a new nation, united in our diversity. Today, a century later, government is still grappling to try and ensure that land is distributed to all those who work it. This exhibition illustrates where we come from and how one of the most significant events in South African history has affected thousands of rural communities and the lives of millions of South Africans over the last 100 years.” 

The exhibition offers insights into the complexity and contested nature of our landscape, and asks questions about how the land is signified and used, and the multiple meanings it has for those who live on it. Travelling in time from the past to the present day, Umhlaba 1913-2013 exhibits work by more than 30 photographers, and draws on the collections of 12 archives in order to sketch the history of land dispossession and its legacies, seen through the eyes of photographers who have engaged with these issues for over a century.

Struggles over land, forced and child labour, removals andlast ditch standsare threads in the visual narrative; while a musical component to the exhibition expresses the deep passion and attachment aroused by land. The exhibition is curated by David Goldblatt, Paul Weinberg, Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloaand Pam Warne.

The realisation of Umhlaba 1913-2013 has only been possible through the generous support of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape; the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town; and the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, along with the Land, Environment and Society in Africa Research Programme at Stellenbosch University; the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Gillian MacKay Graham and Georgina Hamilton.

Umhlaba 1913-2013 will travel to the Wits Art Museum in August 2013.

EDITOR’S NOTES

Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko) operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and three collection‑specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium).

COMMEMORATIVE DAYS – FREE ENTRANCE

Human Rights Day: 21 March
Freedom Day: 27 April
International Museum Day: 18 May
Africa Day: 25 May
Youth Day: 16 June
National Women’s Day: 9 August
Heritage Week: 21-27 September
National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December
Emancipation Day: 1 December
Day of Reconciliation: 16 December
Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium, free only on International Museum Day and Heritage Day 


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