Usakos Exhibition in Cape Town
An exhibition featuring the photographs reflecting past and present life in Usakos is currently on show as part of Cape Town’s Art Week (16-21 February). The exhibition entitled Usakos – Photographs Beyond Ruins: The Old Location Albums, 1920s-1960s is a travelling version of an exhibition that is on show at Usakos Town Hall.
The town council is planning to turn their old offices into a museum once they move to new offices later this year.
The exhibition is on show at District Six Museum and there are plans for it to travel to a number of different venues in South Africa before returning to Namibia. Mr Goodman Gwasira, a member of the Executive Committee of the Museums Association of Namibia, spoke at the launch and expressed his hope that more exhibitions would be able to circulate within Southern Africa.
Gwasira pointed out that the experience of apartheid was one that was common to Namibia and South Africa and suggested that District Six and the museum being developed at Usakos might form a longer lasting relationship.
At the launch, Ms Bernadette Hunkeler Brown, the Swiss Consul-General described the research and process that had produced the exhibition. Mr Omar Badsha, a leading South African documentary photographer, launched the exhibition and said that it was unique in the way that it combined oral history, photography, archival sources and private albums.
He also highly praised the innovative approach that involved collaboration between the community, academics and museum curators to mediate the images and information contained in the exhibition.
Badsha hoped that the exhibition would be a model for museums in the region in its innovative approach to linking the past and the present. He spoke of the importance of creating ways to share history and knowledge more effectively within the region and the potential for a web site that could build a sense of community within the region.
Furthermore he noted that the exhibition was also important because it would remind South Africans of their own colonial past in Namibia.