In 2004 South Africa will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its transition
from minority rule to democracy. This significant moment presents Iziko
with a unique opportunity to review and re-examine South African history and
the ways in which that past has helped shape the present. It will do so in
an exhibition in which we aim to encourage renewal and growth for the future
through an understanding the past.
Democracy X will explore interactions among the various cultures and people
of South Africa through carefully chosen themes, expressive artworks,
selected artefacts and a wide range of audio-visual material. It will open
with the oldest human markings on artefacts that suggest early forms of
socialisation and communication. The exhibition will continue with an
exploration of early African societies and their subsequently complex
interactions with settler communities, characterised frequently by struggles
and wars. The artworks will also trace various forms of resistance to
political oppression in the twentieth century. The decade since the 1994
elections will conclude the exhibition with major landmarks such as the
Constitution, the TRC and a focus on youth.
The exhibition will aim to reach diverse audiences. An extensive education
program has been planned to make the show more accessible to learners as
well as the general public. In addition, a handbook and teachers' pack are
being produced that will have a life beyond the exhibition.
The use of the historically signficant Castle, associated in the past with
repressive colonial and apartheid authorities, for an exhibition celebrating
freedom and democracy, is symbolic of the transformation of South Africa and
the heritage sector in particular.