City Freedom Culture

In Cape Town this week……

…..a town that is poorer for the loss of Kadar Asmal, a man of huge character who we were proud to call neighbour.

Took the day off from the radio and spent it instead trawling cultural corners of the city with visiting son J from Ireland. Serious treat. Starting off with a major art attack on Tretchikoff exhibition at the Iziko National Gallery (till September). I want to say, it looks even better on a cushion – you can buy Tretchi-cushions and Tretchi-coffee at the gallery shop.  While in the Company Gardens, joined the fearless squirrel that strolled into the tea shop for lunch. Stumbled upon the Director’s House that’s been turned into a cute little info centre on the history of the Gardens – which is also the starting point for Ursula’s Wanderlust Walking Tours of Cape Town.

On to the Malay Quarter and parked outside the mural paintings  in a hidden alcove,  across from a row of sugar-palette painted houses a step away from the heritage green Bo-Kaap Museum where we went to check out the vidamemoria Mapping Survey Project for which 100 residents have been asked to identify areas in the ‘quarter’ they feel are significant. It’s a work in progress while everyone is trying to agree.  Up to the Noon Gun tea room for a peak at the wraparound city view and harbour and down to the Bo-Kaap Kombuis for more tea and mountain views. 

Into the District Six museum’s Homecoming Centre in Buitenkant Street to see Fields of Play an exhibition about memories, football and forced removals where they were also preparing for a presentation about Freedom Park  in Pretoria. As it was explained to me, Freedom Park is a monument to cultural diversity and unity engaging the marginalised minorities like the Khoisan, Indian, Afrikaner and Coloured communities.

The weight of memory and culture makes you hungry, so after we popped in to find out what’s in the line up for the Fugard Theatre’s Bioscope season, we had more tea and I Love Cape Town cakes at Charly’s Bakery where a film crew were making a documentary on the owners. 

Last stop was Woodstock’s Theatre in the District where we were in time for what ‘listen-with-your-eyes’ theatre company FTH:K  call a ‘sneaky’ preview of their new production Benchmarks which is off to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Because it was a ‘sneaky’, we were sworn to secrecy, but I can tell you it’s a wordless, tragi-comic, unmissable production in which performers where masks that speak volumes.

….speak soon……. nx

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