THE APARTHEID MUSEUM

Apartheid Museum - www.classicencounters.com   Apartheid Museum - www.classicencounters.com   Apartheid Museum - www.classicencounters.com

Apartheid Museum - www.classicencounters.com

This extraordinarily powerful museum has already become the city's leading tourist attraction, an obligatory stop for visitors and residents alike. The Museum, with its large blown-up photographs, metal cages and numerous monitors recording continuous replays of apartheid scenes set in a double volume ceiling, concrete and red brick walls and grey concrete floor, is next to the Gold Reef City Casino, five kilometers south of the city centre.

After a few hours at the Apartheid Museum you will feel that you were in the townships in the '70s and '80s, dodging police bullets or teargas canisters, or marching and toyi-toyiing with thousands of school children, or carrying the body of a comrade into a nearby house.

This extraordinarily powerful museum, certain to become one of Johannesburg's most important tourist attractions, has become an obligatory stop for tourists and residents alike.

The Museum, with its large blown-up photographs, metal cages and numerous monitors recording continuous replays of apartheid scenes set in a double volume ceiling, concrete and red brick walls and grey concrete floor, is next to the Gold Reef City Casino, five kilometres south of the city center.

The Apartheid Museum 's genesis

The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20 th century South Africa , at the heart of which is the apartheid story.

In 1995 the South African government set up a process for the granting of casino licenses, establishing an agency to do this called the Gambling Board. The bid documents stipulated that bidders should demonstrate how they would attract tourism and thereby grow the economy and stimulate job creation.

A consortium, called Akani Egoli, put in a bid that included the commitment to building a museum. Their bid was successful, the Gold Reef City casino was built and an adjacent piece of land given for the construction of a museum.

The cost of the construction of what became the Apartheid Museum - approximately 80 million rand - was paid for by Akani Egoli.

The museum is registered as a Section 21 company (incorporated not for gain) with an independent board of trustees, the chairman of which is Dr John Kani. The company is separate from Akani Egoli, who has leased the museum to the Section 21 company for the duration of the casino license. The museum therefore relies on donations, contributions and sponsorships to sustain its growth.

The triumph of the human spirit over adversity

Beginning in 1948, the white elected National Party government implemented the policy of apartheid which turned 20 million people into second class citizens, damning them to a life of servitude, humiliation and abuse.

Their liberation in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela, the prisoner who became president, is a climax in the saga of a nation's resistance, courage and fortitude.

The Apartheid Museum , the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid.

An architectural consortium, comprising several leading architectural firms, conceptualised the design of the building on a seven-hectare stand. The museum is a superb example of design, space and landscape offering the international community a unique South African experience.

The exhibits have been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers.

They include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that are part of the epic saga, known as apartheid.

A series of 22 individual exhibition areas takes the visitor through a dramatic emotional journey that tells a story of a state-sanctioned system based on racial discrimination and the struggle of the majority to overthrow this tyranny.

For anyone wanting to understand and experience what apartheid South Africa was really like, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is fundamental.

The museum is a beacon of hope showing the world how South Africa is coming to terms with its oppressive past and working towards a future that all South Africans can call their own.

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Entrance to the Apartheid Museum

 

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