Thursday, May 21, 2015

Winter night's content

Arrived early for a book launch (Memory Against Forgetting), of a collection of photographs ("a photographic journey through both sides of South Africa’s history"), at The District Six Museum in Buitenkant street.

Photographer Ranjith Kally joined Jim Bailey's
iconic Drum Magazine in 1956
I'm the second person to arrive, the photographer (Ranjith Kally), in his nineties, sits quietly in the front row with an intriguing copper walking stick. He's immaculately dressed and his solid black shoes are polished.

It's the first time, surprisingly, that I've been here; I savour the smell of old wood and old building and I'm grateful to be visiting and ecstatic to have made the effort to leave the flat despite the moodiness and early arrival of the winter night.

I lift my glass of Leopard's Leap Sauvignon Blanc to the artist, also to my creative, artistic city that for centuries was - mostly - known as the tavern of the seas. I also raise it to the ghosts fluttering amongst us... the marvelous space is filling up.

The shame; lest we South Africans ever forget! This old sign is on a wall at the
District Six Museum: "By Order Provincial Secretary".
The book's apt title was inspired by Czech writer, Milan Kundera, who wrote in his The Book of Laughter and Forgetting that “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”.

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