The harrowing, confronting and unmistakable travesty of apartheid is detailed in the chronology of Capetown’s District Six, through the stories and artefacts of its earlier vibrant community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants.
The first to be forced out were black South Africans who were displaced from the District in 1901. In 1966 it was declared a white area under the Group Areas Act of 1950, and by 1982, the life of the community was over. More than 60 000 people were forcibly removed to barren outlying areas, their houses flattened by bulldozers.
The District Six Museum, established in 1994, preserves the memories and experience of forced removals and is a telling example of white privilege through colonial might, overriding the human rights and dignity of all others.
On this day, it is fitting we are reminded that in Australia, it always has been and always will be, Aboriginal land.