Up until the 1970s, District Six was home to almost a tenth of the city of Cape Towns population. In 1965, the apartheid government declared District Six white.
More than 60,000 people were forcibly uprooted and relocated onto the barren plains of the Cape Flats.
In the process, over a century of history, of community life, of solidarity amongst the poor and of achievement against great odds, was imperiled.
The District Six Museum was established to keep alive the memories of District Six and displaced people everywhere. The Museum is committed to telling the stories of forced removals and assisting in the reconstitution of the community of District Six and Cape Town
The District Six Museum curates and manages a unique collection of historical materials, fine prints and paintings, physical remains of District Six in the form of street signs and architectural vignettes, artefacts, photographic images, books, dissertations, theses, and audio-visual recordings.
This growing collection has, for the most part, been donated to the museum by the large community of ex-residents of District Six.
The collection is housed in the District Six Museum, where it is divided into a large number of smaller collections, the bulk of which represent the lives of the people who lived in District Six, and also other areas of forced removal in South Africa.
The collection provides a unique view of life in District Six, covering the period from the turn of the century to the present, and a broad range of topics from everyday life to political activism.
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