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District Six Cape Town’s Multi-Ethnic Neighborhood is Destroyed by Apartheid, But Would Not Die Elizabeth Hines, Geography UNCW.

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Presentation on theme: "District Six Cape Town’s Multi-Ethnic Neighborhood is Destroyed by Apartheid, But Would Not Die Elizabeth Hines, Geography UNCW."— Presentation transcript:

1 District Six Cape Town’s Multi-Ethnic Neighborhood is Destroyed by Apartheid, But Would Not Die Elizabeth Hines, Geography UNCW

2 Looking at city neighborhoods as organs of self- government…there are only three kinds of neighborhoods that are useful: 1. the whole city; Looking at city neighborhoods as organs of self- government…there are only three kinds of neighborhoods that are useful: 1. the whole city; 2. street neighborhoods; and 3. districts. 2. street neighborhoods; and 3. districts. The sub-municipal district…a kind of city neighborhood that is useful for self-government. The sub-municipal district…a kind of city neighborhood that is useful for self-government. The chief function of a successful district is to mediate between the indispensable, but inherently politically powerless, street neighborhoods, and the inherently powerful city as a whole. The chief function of a successful district is to mediate between the indispensable, but inherently politically powerless, street neighborhoods, and the inherently powerful city as a whole. Jane Jacobs, 1961

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4 30 Miles

5 In- filled shoreline Docks

6 District Six

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10 Avalon Bioscope

11 Crescent Cafe

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15 Fish Market, Hanover Street

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19 Blythe Street

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28 The Ugly Truth about District Six in the 1950s Chronic over-crowding; decades of squatters Decades of rural migration to Cape Town and immigrants from around the world. Chronic greed of land owners; slums were profitable; ghettos make money Chronic unemployment of non-whites; coloureds, then increasingly whites got the decent jobs; an informal economy was all that was left for the poor Chronic racism against non-whites, long before apartheid Chronic fear by whites in power of being over-run by non-white majority Superior weapons of white minority, who held power by force Self destructiveness of non-white gangs The bondage of liquor—conundrum of drunkenness and high rates of related arrests A long list of local and then national acts and laws that hindered any non-white economic progress began long before apartheid became law in Group Areas Act of the Nationalist party Malign neglect by Cape Town municipal government 1966 District Six proclaimed a “Whites Only” Area : Age of the Bulldozer

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30 March against the Pass Laws, 1961

31 Gangs Large (the Globe) and small gangs modeled themselves after gangsters in American crime dramas

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33 Little England remained

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35 1978

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37 Zonnebloem White area, 1980s

38 After the razing, District Six was renamed Zonnebloem and the old streets were covered with the rubble. The main street, Hanover, was renamed Keizergracht. The Good Hope Center, a coliseum, was built by the Castle.

39 District Six areas developed despite HODS, Good Hope Center in foreground

40 Historically, District Six had been a "mixed" area. As author Robin Malan describes it, "The population of District Six came from all over the world. The largest number were people whom the Cape Government referred to as ‘Malay,' or ‘Mixed,' or ‘Coloured,' people who were the descendants of slaves, Khoi, African, and white colonists originally from Europe. Jewish people from Russia, Indians, Chinese, British, Australians were all to be found in District Six." While there were problems in District Six, as there are in any area, the area was celebrated for its vibrant character, and neighborliness, as well as the fact that people from all over the world and South Africa "mixed" and got along well. Many of the former residents believe this success was that very reason that led to the decision to destroy District Six.

41 Richmond Street, District Six, Cape Town 1961 and 1984

42 Bloemer Flats, 1970s

43 Bloemer Flats

44 Canterbury Flats, 1980s, formerly Bloemer Flats

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47 . District 6 Museum, Buitenkant St.

48 District Six Museum

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53 Some schools & churches remained

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55 Lion’s Head from District Six

56 The report of the Commission of Inquiry into Matters Relating to the Coloured Population indicated that the declaration of District Six as a white group area in 1966 was anticipated by urban “renewal” plans as early as The report noted: “In 1935, the South African Railways, who managed South African harbours, announced a plan to expand Cape Town harbor. Plans were set in motion for the construction of Duncan Dock and re-planning of the surrounding city including District Six. The re-planning of Cape Town followed the thinking of the famous Swiss planner, Le Corbusier, who urged that modern city could not function properly unless its “accident” layout was replaced with a standard geometrical plan.” The report pointed out that proposals were made for Cape Town following this thinking which placed emphasis on the total re-organisation of the city’s centre: “We must concentrate our first activities at the city centre, so that freedom of movement, accessibility and breathing space can be restored where they are vital. It is possible to achieve this radical re-organisation by dramatic methods only; by a fresh start on cleared ground…This ruthless eradication directed towards revitalizing process we have, following Le Corbusier’s lead, named the Surgical method…Through surgery we must create order…” 4/25/2012 Kimani Wanjiru

57 Mon Dieu, Corbu! Corbusier’s ideological belief that design should be ahistorical Corbusier’s ideological belief that design should be ahistorical He exhibited his "Plan Voisin", sponsored by an automobile manufacturer, in In it, he proposed to bulldoze most of central Paris north of the Seine and replace it with his sixty-story cruciform towers from the Contemporary City, placed within an orthogonal street grid and park-like green space. He exhibited his "Plan Voisin", sponsored by an automobile manufacturer, in In it, he proposed to bulldoze most of central Paris north of the Seine and replace it with his sixty-story cruciform towers from the Contemporary City, placed within an orthogonal street grid and park-like green space. The “radiant city” The “radiant city”

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61 Cape Peninsula University Tech (CPUT) campus, formerly the whites only Technikon

62 Downtown Good Hope Centre

63 1990s

64 Land claimants at a "handing back District Six" rally in District Six, Cape Town (South Africa), Picture by Henry Trotter. The author releases it to the public domain. |Source=Originally from [http://en.wikipedia.org en.wi

65 Eviction Notice, 1978

66 June 28, 2013: Hendrieta Mrwebi, 90, and her daughter, Virginia Mrwebi-Nqolobe, 65, moved back to District Six three weeks ago

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68 “Coon Carnival”, 1960s, a District Six Tradition that dates to 1867, was adapted from American Minstrel shows

69 2012, the tradition continues in Cape Town and elsewhere.

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72 Separate Townships for Coloured, Indians, & Africans

73 Cape Flats

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75 Langa Township

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77 In 1960, 69 people were killed in Sharpeville by police during a Pass Law protest; More died in the same way on the same day in Langa Township. In 1985, a memorial service was disrupted and 25 more people were killed in Langa. This is their memorial was also the year that the mixed race neighborhood of Sophiatown was razed to become a white development called Triomf.

78 James Mader’s photograph consists of twenty pedestals, each suspending a photograph taken by Noor Ebrahim of the old District Six. The procession of poles point generally towards the Cape Flats, where most District Six residents were forcibly moved. He said, “By placing the photographs this way I hoped to force the viewers to stand with their backs to District Six: looking at what was and facing what is. The work was destroyed by the first evening of wind, leaving bent useless metal behind, an unexpected parody.”

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