Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Textile Details

'Memory Cloth', by ex-residents of District Six, Cape Town, South Africa.
(Photo: District Six Museum Archive)
'Memory Cloth', by ex-residents of District Six, Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: District Six Museum Archive)

 

Title of Textile:Memory Cloth: Hand embroidered remembrance inscriptions on cloth
Maker: Ex-residents of District Six, Cape Town
Country of Origin: South Africa
Year Produced: 1998c
Size (cm): 1.62m x 3.79m
Materials: Hand embroidered calico
Type of Textile: Memory Cloth
Description:

On 27 April 1950 the Apartheid government of South Africa passed the Group Areas Act, the implementation of which resulted in legalized racial segregation. Vibrant communities such as District Six, 60,000 strong, were forced to leave the city, leaving behind their homes, rich social networks and community infrastructure.

Following the dismantling of Apartheid and the opening of the District Six Museum in 1992, the collective need to record and denounce this experience found expression in the form of memory cloths. This memory cloth began as a piece of calico pinned to a wall as a means of recording the names of the first ex- residents of District Six to visit the future museum space in 1992. At a later stage the inscribed texts, which have come to symbolise remembrance, profound loss and reconnection, were embroidered by hand to conserve the writing.

Owner: Courtesy of Tina Smith, Head of Exhibitions, District Six Museum, Cape Town
Location: South Africa
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: District Six Museum Archive



Textile exhibited at: Textile Accounts of Conflicts, 17/11/2014 - 18/11/2014
Textile Accounts of Conflicts, 6/02/2015 - 7/03/2015



Textile Detail Image(s)