4 Henry Ford said: history is bunk, 1916 INTRODUCTIONHenry Ford said: history is bunk, 1916Francis Fukuyama echoed Ford: end of history, 1989Both shameful declarations and outrageous misrepresentations of history and heritage
5 INTRODUCTIONThis paper is a narrative presentation of Freedom Park as a cultural institution. It is not investigative. Neither is it analytical nor academically rigorous. However, one cannot completely rule out the obvious temptation to argue (See Bongane Mkhize; The role of heritage institutions in the creation of common citizenship and nation-building in the post-apartheid South Africa ( to be published by AISA in Africa Insight, (2012)
6 INTRO.The paper aims to explain the relevance and the special place Freedom Park occupies or rather, should occupy in both heritage and tourism industries in SA. The paper was also inspired by the concerns of the governing council of Freedom Park; ‘how best to promote Freedom Park, especially to young children, and to schools in particular’.
7 INTRO.The paper foregrounds the centrality and uniqueness of F/P in the heritage industry with its principle of the emancipation of the African voice The paper elucidates that Freedom Park is not an African National Congress, ANC monument, but the dream of the entire nation. See examples overleaf.
8 EXAMPLES1. After being taken on tour of the F/P, the great grandson of President Paul Kruger was quoted as having emotionally said that, “I felt the presence of my great grand-father in this space” (Sipho Mdanda).2. F/P Hosted 150th celebrations of the arrival of Indians in 2010 in conjunction with 1860 Legacy Project, the Foundation for Human Rights, and the Gauteng provincial Government (p. 20 Quarterly Report Oct-Nov 2010)3. F/P consulted widely and visited 14 countries before starting with the construction which began after 16 June 2002 to coincide with the youth month.
9 Who participated in F/P’s concetualisation? INTRO: EXAMPLESWho participated in F/P’s concetualisation?IKS practitioners and organic intellectualsFaith-based institutions including African Indigenous Churches (AICs)Civic groupsTraditional leadersTraditional healersInternational community (14 countries) andWorkshops were conducted and another in 2010 on inter-faithContinuous consultation is on-going through dialogues
10 The paper also celebrates F/P’s own champions: NELSON MANDELA Cont.The paper also celebrates F/P’s own champions:NELSON MANDELAThe Arch, DESMOND MPILO TUTUGENERAL MASONDO (late)CREDO MUTWATHABO MBEKIWALLY SEROTEHARIETTE NGUBANE (late)YONAH SELETI and theF/P’s initial STAFF
11 METHODOLOGYQualitative and opportunistic -heavily based on archival (F/P), primary materials (concept papers: F/P) housed in F/P’s Pan African Archives, PAA -Annual & Quarterly Reports and -Collegial conversations (colleagues) -Engaging with visitors
12 FOUNDATIONSNelson Mandela envisioned a day not too far when SA shall have a people’s shrine, a freedom park, ‘where we shall honour with all the dignity they deserve, those who endured pain so we should experience the joy of freedom’ (Freedom Park, undated)
13 FOUNDATIONSThe country is drenched in blood and needs a place of healing, reconciliation and nation building (Mandela, 1999)The Arch, as Tutu is affectionately known confirmed the need for a ‘freedom park’, a Garden of Remembrance for the nation which should be based on the nation’s constitutional principles of;DEMOCRATICNON-RACIAL andNON-SEXIST SOCIETY(Act No. 108 of 1996)
14 PHILOSOPHICAL CONTEXT F/P utilises ontologies and epistemologies that have their roots in Africa and its DiasporaF/P foregrounds knowledge on civilisations and cultures of Africa in telling the story of SA ‘s pre-colonial, colonial, apartheid, post apartheid history and heritage spanning 3.6. billion years to commemorate those sheroes and heroes who contributed to our freedom and humanity
15 I am because we are… therefore, I am Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu PHILOSOPHYF/P’s phil. is embedded on the African concept of humanity/humanness (ubuntu), oneneness, kindness even to animals and nature around humans. It is entrenched in the dictum that:I am because we are… therefore, I amUmuntu ngumuntu ngabantuMotho kemotho kabathoMuntu ndimuthu ngavathuUmuntu muntu pa BantuOmuntu nomuntu ahabwaBantuMunhu, munhu, nevanhu
16 IKS: African epistemologies PHILOSOPHY, cont.IKS: African epistemologiesRECONCILIATION and NATION BUILDING to foster a sense of unity, security and belongingAfrican Renaissance and Thabo Mbeki’s world famous speech, I am an African (15 May 1996)Pan-Africanism championed by the Diarspora Africans and Marcus Garvey’s back-to Africa campaign andA strong African union
17 PRECOLONIAL –conflicts within various indigenous African communities HISTORICAL CONTEXTPRECOLONIAL –conflicts within various indigenous African communitiesGENOCIDE –evident up until 19th centurySLAVERY – chattel or traditional slavery introduced by the Dutch from 17th century; inboekeling and trans-Atlantic slave tradeWARS OF RESISTANCE –indigenous peoples resistance against European intrusion and colonialismSOUTH AFRICAN WARTWO WORLD WARSLIBERATION STRUGGLE:Armed struggleMass struggleUnderground struggleInternational solidarity
18 CONSTITUTION, Act 108 of 1996 including 1993 Constitution LANGUAGECONSTITUTION, Act 108 of 1996 including 1993 ConstitutionUnity in diversity (Rainbow Nation)Different languages are used in the naming of features including Khoi-san, //Hapo (dream), interpretive museum://Hapo ge//hapo tama/ haohasib dis tamas ka I bo( a dream is not a dream until it is shared by the entire community)
19 The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996 FOUNDING LEGISLATIONThe Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996Declared a Cultural Institution effective 01 April 2009 in terms of the Cultural Institutions Act 119 of 1998 and National Heritage Resource Act, No. 25 Sec. 71 of 1999
20 STRATEGIC LOCATIONFreedom Park is located on a 52 hectare site called Salvokop, Pretoria.The Park lies between the M1 and Nelson Mandela DriveF/P has 360 degrees panoramic views of the cityVoortrekker MonumentIt is in full view of the Union Buildings, and in close proximity to UNISA to the east and the Voortrekker Monument to the westReserve BankGautrain and,Strategically surrounded by Fort Klapperkop, Fort Kanskop & Fort Wonderboom beyond
23 VISION AND MISSIONVisionFreedom Park purports to be a leading national and international icon of humanity and freedom. MissionTo provide a pioneering and empowering heritage destination in order to mobilise for reconciliation and nation building in our country; to reflect upon our past, improving our present and building our future as a united nation; to contribute continentally and internationally to the formation of better human understanding among nations and peoples.
24 Tolerance of diversity Inclusivity Trust Transparency Accountability VALUESValuesIn carrying out its mandate, Freedom Park is committed, but not limited to the following values:Tolerance of diversityInclusivityTrustTransparencyAccountabilityEmancipation of the African voice(Freedom Park Annual Report, )
25 KEY OBJECTIVES(Those relevant to schools)Contribute to social cohesion by positioning Freedom Park as a symbol of national identityEstablish mechanisms to promote, protect and preserve Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS).
26 DEPARTMENTS The Office of the CEO & DCEO HERITAGE AND KNOWLEDGE (Education Unit is here)PUBLIC PARTICIPATIONINNOVATION AND INCUBATIONPARKS OPERATIONS5. HUMAN RESOURCES and
27 Freedom Park strives to preserve: history culture spirituality CENTRAL THEMESFreedom Park strives to preserve:historyculturespiritualityIKS, andheritage of the nation in the context that will be respected nationally and internationally; and cross-culturally
28 CORE BUSINESSThe creation of a memorial that will narrate the story of South Africa’s pre-colonial, colonial, apartheid, and post-apartheid history, culture, spirituality, IKS and heritage, spanning a period of 3.6 billion years,To acknowledge the heroes and sheroes that selflessly laid down their lives for freedom of the country.
29 STATUREF/P is the heartbeat of all that is South African heritage; the country’s history, culture, spirituality and heritageIt is the hub through which to know this land of possibilities in all its diversity as it tells the story of humanityIt is a monument to democracy that serves to reflect upon the country’s past, improve our present and build our future as a united nation
30 Educational Responsibility F/P mobilises educational institutions at all levels to educate learners/ students to engender social cohesion (Quarterly Report, October to December: 2010)Therefore, it becomes very clear that Freedom Park’s mandate is closely linked to education and learners of this countryThis is in line with UNESCO’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005 –2014 which is to integrate principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning.
31 MUSEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES F/P fosters principal avenues of museology ( the hub of a country’s tourist industry); 1. Tangible culture and natural heritage: buildings, monuments, landscapes, artefacts, books, works of art 2. Intangible culture: biodiversity and landscapes (See Location) 3. Natural environment: flora and fauna, (biodiversity) and 4. Geo-diversity: Geological elements: mineralogy, geomorphology, paleontology etc F/P encompasses all these; no institution in the world covers history, culture and spirituality under one roof
32 THE ROLE OF THABO MBEKIThabo Mbeki demonstrated ‘fresh appreciation of the intangible aspects of [African] heritage, such as oral history, oral traditions, cultural expressions and indigenous knowledge’ (Wells, 2008: 30). His idea, founded on ideas of the legendary Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu was the creation of a space for spiritual renewal in the form of a museum and a monument to the conflicts and struggles that shaped today’s free South Africa (Wells, 2008: 30).
33 MBEKIMbeki’s influence and passion for Freedom Park is immense. In constructing F/P, Mbeki was overwhelmed by reigniting African Renaissance and pan-africanism with his idea that the 21st century ‘is Africa’s century’ In his approach to conceptualisation, Mbeki was obviously cautious about the possibility of western influences in this phase Mbeki took exceptional interest in ensuring that this was kept to the minimum despite globalisation nuances pushing ahead
34 MBEKIIn terms of the 2005 UNESCO Convention, cultural diversity is a defining characteristic of humanity. Article 1 of the 2005 Convention prescribes that all nations should; (a) protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions and (b) create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner (UNESCO Conventions, 2005).
35 MBEKIAlso greatly honoured at Freedom Park in the ‘Mbekiist’ idealism is the emancipation of the African voice, using the tool of continued dialogues (Wells in Denis and Ntsimane, 2008: 22) Also of profound significance about Mbeki’s national values is reconciliation, nation building and continent building Mbeki initiated the construction with the transplanting of the African Olive tree on 16 June 2002 (See above)
36 THE MAIN FEATURES/ELEMENTS Isivivane, a sacred space - It is a universal spiritual space, symbolising the spiritual and cultural interconnectedness and commonness of humanity globallyS’khumbuto – Remembrance with;The Wall of NamesThe SanctuaryThe AmphitheatreThe Gallery of LeadersEternal FlameMoshate – Presidential SuiteMvelezo, a spiral path – joins all the elements of Freedom ParkTiva – man-made dam (has since been put on hold)//Hapo – interactive museumArtworks (circle of peace and Origin of Tiva)Uitspanplek – resting and picnic spotSenhtlaga: fun spot for kids next to the museum, //HapoNote the use of different South African languages (Constitution)
37 Resource Centre, library, also inside the museum FEATURESPan African Archives, PAA (inside the museum) very important for research purposesResource Centre, library, also inside the museumState of the art technology with touch screens (in the Gallery of Leaders) containing biographical data of these sheroes and heroes and eminent leaders (See below)
41 THE MUSEUM: ///HAPO - more than a museum Freedom Park’s most significant narrative element is an interactive museum called //Hapo: dream –: a title drawn from an expression from the Khoisan people which says, ‘a dream is not a dream until it is shared by the entire community’.It is in this space that the story of the struggle of humanity for freedom is told. It is also here where the story of mankind dating back 3.6 billion years is told in a constructivist and participatory manner creating a mutual relationship between the staff and visitor.Visitors touch and feel artefacts (fossils etc) unlike in conventional museums as we know them
42 3.6 billion years - 7 Periods/Epochs: NB. Not to be confused with the Eight Conflicts in the Wall of Names at S’khumbuto1. Epoch One – EarthAfrican creation storyBarberton rockFossilsOrganisms and bacterial lifeGraphic timeline2 Epoch Two - AncestorsAfrican spiritualityAfrican story of life and death and ritualsSignificance of ancestors and their role in daily activities of the living.
43 The 3.6 billion Story in //Hapo 3. Epoch Three - PeoplingTechnology in Africa before colonialisationAfrica’s history, trade and development.Bantu civilizations and migrationsSlaveryThe San and the KhoiPre-colonial systems of leadership4 Epoch Four - Resistance and ColonizationPerspective of foreign colonizer.Indigenous people and their generosity towards colonizers.Highlights IKS before colonizers arrived – IKS a tool for resistanceEconomic systems based on IKS and African epistemologyTrade routes used by VoortrekkersHow landscapes changed as divided by colonisers
44 The 3.6 billion Story in //Hapo 5. Epoch Five - Industrialization and UrbanizationIndustrialisation and mass production before colonizers.Exploitative labour practices and breakdown in family structuresUrban life and strategies used to deal with new lives in the citiesMineral wealth of South Africa and its implications for course of history and the Union in 1910SA War from the perspective of a Black South African in preparation for the fact of exclusion from the Union in 1910.6 Epoch Six - Nationalisms and Liberation StruggleExclusive and inclusive nationalismsHomelandsSol Plaatjie deputations to the UKPixley KaSeme 1912 (foundations of modern resistance, led by learned, middle class and kholwa)SANNCFreedom Charter, 1955, Kliptown (intensification of inclusive nationalisms)Strategies of the struggle (four pillars)
45 The 3.6 billion Story in //Hapo 7. Epoch Seven - Nation Building and Continent BuildingCircumstances that led to negotiationsNegotiationsGovernment sponsored violenceFreedom and excitement of 1994 – Tutu’s Rainbow people of God are bornTRCAU and NEPAD, Africa’s Century, I am an African, African Renaissance etc.“The World Cup 2010 will be organised in… South Africa!!!” –the culmination of the struggleA BREATHTAKING EXPERIENCE INSIDE //HAPO
46 EDUCATION UNIT Is the newest having been started in June 2010 COMPOSITION ( with exceptionally qualified staff)MANAGERCURRICULUM DEVELOPEREDUCATION OFFICERS andSTORY TELLERSMANDATE OF THE UNITTO DEVELOP A CURRICULUM WHICH IS IN LINE WITH HERITAGE AND HISTORYTO DEVELOP EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIESTO INTERFACE WITH STAKEHOLDERSTO PRESENT PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIESTO TELL THIS STORY OF3.6.BILLION YEARS
47 EDUCATION METHODOLOGY Educational programmes allow for interaction, interpretation, and participation in a constructivist approach Other methods encapsulated here are; (i) story-telling and (ii) ADIDAS: Activity-Discussion-Input-Deepen-Analysis-Synthesis, ADIDAS These methods, though spontaneously applied (but not story-telling) ensure full participation by visitors regardless of their background. In the context of The Freedom Park, ADIDAS considers the fact that the visitor is not a tabular rasa –that the visitor has a priori knowledge; a Pythagorean principle (Pythagoras of Samos, Greece, BC) The curriculum is based on F/P’s content, all its features, philosophy and concept papers. It strongly links with and enriches the mainstream public curriculum. It does not replace the teacher in the classroom: a heritage site may not be a classroom, but should deliver heritage education, and can link certain content with the school curriculum Though relatively new in museology, story-telling at F/P would not be conventional/traditional in approach, but rather, interactive
48 SOME EXAMPLES OF PROGRAMMES Some examples; Steve Biko (BCM), TRC, Slavery, Sophiatown, spirituality (Isivivane), resistance and colonialism, peopling, nation building, urbanisation and industrialisation, xenophobia etc)F/P targets all educational and academic institutions and other relevant stakeholders such as research institutes. In this regard, the research unit at F/P, in addition to developing content and biographies, produces academic research and pays specific attention to IKS research
49 WHAT YOU CAN DO AT FREEDOM PARK Freedom Park can be used for the following: - As a research facility by visiting: Resource Center/Library, Pan African Archives (PAA) etc - Educational Tours - General tours( guided & self-guided) - Entertainment - Functions - Spiritual meditation - Prayer - Family rituals - Interfaith rituals etc.
50 Also experience the flora including the Protea, SA’s national flower WHAT YOU CAN DOAs a centre for understanding African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS) and African medicinal practices the Freedom Park Nursery will showcase African indigenous plants –towards understanding African medicinal healing in juxtaposition to western medicinal practices andAlso experience the flora including the Protea, SA’s national flower
57 VISIT FREEDOM PARKYOU CAN VISIT AND SHARE THE EXPERIENCE (GUIDED/UNGUIDED TOURS)TIMES09HOO12H0015H00PRICESADULTS: R45.00KIDS/LEARNERS & PENSIONERS: R25.00YOU CAN BOOK FOR YOUR FUNCTIONSOCIAL GATHERINGSPICNIC AT THE UITSPANPLEKNB. INTOXICANTS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE PARKVisit freedompark.co.za and/call
58 FREEDOM PARK IS WAITING FOR YOU! HAVE YOU EVER VISITED THIS COLLOSUS OF A GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE?
59 LOVE YOUR HISTORY, CULTURE & HERITAGE I THANK YOU– the paper is being developed for publication in SASHT’s Yesterday & Today Journal to coincide with //Hapo completion (ideas and comments welcome)NB. Visit SASHT’s 2011 Conference