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Celebrating 25 years of Democracy: Building a Better Africa and a Better World at Iziko Museums of South Africa on Africa Day.
Commemorate Africa Day on Saturday, 25 May 2019 with *free entry to (selected) Iziko Museums of South Africa! Iziko provides visitors with the opportunity to delve into what it means to be African through the Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions – and this year, the Iziko Education and Public Programmes Department (EPP) is joining in on the global celebration of Africa Day.
Under the theme, “Celebrating 25 years of Democracy: Building a Better Africa and a Better World”, EPP is hosting a series of activities aimed at reflecting the role of museums in building identity, specifically around what it means to be African today. These activities include a musical performance by the Buyambo Youth Group and Rainbow Academy; a film-screening and story-telling by Manyeka Arts Trust; and a bead-work workshop – all held in the Iziko South African Museum between 10h00 and 14h00.
Exhibitions currently up on display at Iziko, and a must-see in line with Africa Day include Origins of Early Sapiens Behavior at the Iziko South African Museum. This exhibition illustrates the “we are all one” nature of African heritage, and displays a number of artefacts that point to the clear and current genetic evidence that all Homo Sapiens have their origins in Africa.
Tata Madiba: Father of our Democracy, Father of our Nation is also an exhibition to remember on Africa Day. This exhibition, which is also on display at the Iziko South African Museum, is important for all South Africans and global citizens alike, as it elaborates on how Nelson Mandela suffered whilst fighting against apartheid and colonial rule. Tata Madiba is well known in Africa and across the globe for standing up and claiming freedom.
Filling in the Gaps foregrounds the recent acquisitions made by the Iziko South African National Gallery, and comes as a presentation of the diverse practices by artists living and working on the African continent. This exhibition includes both historical artworks by Moses Tlada, John Koenakeefe, Peter Clarke and Ephraim Ngatane; and contemporary artworks by Mongezi Ncaphayi, Sthembile Msezane and Lerato Shadi – all assisting in building a national collection that is more representative of the overlooked and marginalised artists of the past.
KEMET: Life in Ancient Egypt is up on exhibition at the Iziko Slave Lodge, and makes use of an Augmented Reality game for visitors to actively explore and engage with life in ancient Egypt. Following a story that unfolds when an ordinary Egyptian passes away and enters the afterlife, this exhibition seeks to bring the past back to life and draws on themes of religion and recreation. The exhibition also displays scale models of a mummification chamber and an Egyptian slave scene – prompting dialogues around ancient African cultures and belief systems.
Africa Day is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of the Organization of African Unity (OAU now the AU) from its creation on 25 May, 1963 in the fight against colonialism and apartheid, as well as the progress that Africa has made, while reflecting upon the collective challenges that the African continent face in a universal environment.
The main goal of this event is to create, maintain and increase awareness for the public at large. Africa day has a theme for each year and this year seeks to explore what Africa means to us through a celebration of African arts and culture.
*Free entry excludes the Planetarium and Digital Dome, Castle of Good Hope and museums closed for renovations and repair.