With International Museum Day this Saturday, May 18 2019, the City of Cape Town is gearing up to host two events in two vibrant cultural spaces in Langa and Bellville that will celebrate South African art, history and culture.
Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, says this year’s theme is focused on ‘Museums as cultural hubs and the future of tradition’. “The main aim of international Museum Day is to raise awareness of museums and their importance in cultural exchange, cultural enrichment and the development of mutual understanding and cooperation. This commemorative day serves as a platform for raising public awareness on the role museums play in the improvement of society on an international level,” he says.
An annual event, International Museum Day is celebrated worldwide and in 2018 more than 40 000 museums participated in the event in an estimated 158 countries.
Badroodien comments on how museums have evolved as spaces over the years: “The role of museums is changing and they have become more interactive, mobile, audience-focused, community-orientated and flexible. Museums today have become cultural hubs where history and creativity meet knowledge. At the same time, museums have to preserve their main mission which is to collect, conserve and exhibit history.”
Where to celebrate International Museum day:
On Friday, May 17, the Guga S’thebe Cultural Centre in Langa will host an exhibition at the Old Langa Post Office near the South African Post Office (SAPO). The new exhibit will reflect the history of the Langa Post Office and the wider history of SAPO, which as 1 500 branches all over South Africa, and will be permanent. Boards with information on the post office’s history will also be on display.
The event in Bellville will take place at the Art Gallery in the Bellville Library on May 30 and will include live music and guest speakers.
Badroodien is encouraging Capetonians to get involved in International Museum Day and “to visit our historic spaces and especially the museums. Our history is a mixture of pain and joy and we must preserve it so that our future generations can learn from all the facets of our history.”
Picture: City of Cape Town