Five must-see exhibitions at Iziko Museums this Reconciliation Day

Iziko Museums of South Africa

On Wednesday, 16 December 2020, Iziko Museums of South Africa will be celebrating Reconciliation Day with *FREE ENTRY to selected museums! *Free entry includes the Iziko South African Museum, the Iziko South African National Gallery, the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, the Iziko Slave Lodge and the Iziko Maritime Centre. 

In commemoration of Reconciliation Day, explore Tata Madiba, Father of our democracy, Father of our Nation both online and at the Iziko South African Museum! This exhibition pays tribute to Nelson Mandela – an instrumental catalyst of change, a warrior against apartheid and advocate of social cohesion – and highlight’s Madiba’s extraordinary contribution in terms of the protection of South Africa’s rich biodiversity. Visitors can now also virtually ‘access’ display cases to explore the interesting natural history objects – many of which Mandela and is fellow prisoners may have encountered on Robben Island.



Visit Singing Freedom, on exhibition at the Iziko Slave Lodge, and learn about freedom songs and the various organisations, events and people who were involved in the struggle for an end to apartheid. Singing Freedom also draws on oral histories and the memories of a number of activists as well as musicians, and visitors are encouraged to listen to the music, read the lyrics, and watch the audio-visuals displayed.



Also on exhibition at the Iziko Slave Lodge, Under Cover of Darkness aims to highlight the experience of colonial subjects through a specific focus on the lives of three women – Susanna van Bengal, Krotoa, and an as of yet unidentified other – by intervening in the Slave Lodge, a historically laden site. This exhibition brings to light the experiences of enslaved women living under colonial rule at the Cape, and focuses on the historical roots of the violence against women and children in South Africa today. 



Explore Gabrielle Goliath’s 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist award for Visual Arts, This song is for…, at the Iziko South African National Gallery. The exhibition is made up of a unique collection of dedication songs – playing sequentially, and each one chosen by a survivor of rape. Goliath worked in close collaboration with a group of women and gender-queer led musical ensembles to reinterpret and re-perform the chosen songs. As collaborators on the project, the survivors shared not only their song, but also a colour of their choosing and a written reflection. Goliath situates her practice within contexts marked by the traces, disparities and as-of-yet unreconciled traumas of colonialism and apartheid, as well as socially entrenched structures of patriarchal power and rape culture – which is highlighted in This song is for…. 



Visit the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum and explore The Effendis of 71 Wale Street, Bo-Kaap – an exhibition that remembers and honours the lives of the Effendi family who previously lived in this house. Mahmoud Fakir Effendi contributed greatly to the Bo-Kaap community both through his school and through his religious teaching and writing. The history of Effendi and his descendants is closely connected to the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, and in this exhibition, Mahmoud Effendi and his family’s story is told for the first time within the museums – the very space in which they once lived. Forcefully removed from their home in 1978, The Effendis of 71 Wale Street, Bo-Kaap seeks to make the Effendi family story known, reliving their experiences of great joy and deep pain through photographs, objects and stories both on loan and told by the Effendis.



When visiting the Museums on Reconciliation Day, please note that there are COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure the safety of both staff and visitors. You can learn about Iziko’s timed-access and safety measurements HERE. In welcoming you back, your health and safety, and that of our staff, is of utmost importance. Thank you for all your efforts in maintaining social distancing to keep both yourself and us safe. We’re so thrilled to welcome you back!


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