CONFERENCE PAPER – Bongane Mkhize
TITLE
‘Taking Freedom Park to the People’
Paper presented in the Conference
organised by South African Society
for History Teaching, SASHT,
23-24 Sept. 2011
SLIDES PRESENTATION
(Copyright for SASHT)
INTRODUCTION
• Henry Ford said: history is bunk, 1916
• Francis Fukuyama echoed Ford: end of
history, 1989
• Both shameful declarations and outrageous
misrepresentations of history and heritage
INTRODUCTION
This paper is a narrative presentation of
Freedom Park as a cultural institution. It is not
investigative. Neither is it analytical nor
academically rigorous. However, one cannot
completely rule out the obvious temptation to
argue (See Bongane Mkhize; The role of
heritage institutions in the creation of common
citizenship and nation-building in the postapartheid South Africa ( to be published by
AISA in Africa Insight, (2012)
INTRO.
The paper aims to explain the relevance and
the special place Freedom Park occupies or
rather, should occupy in both heritage and
tourism industries in SA.
The paper was also inspired by the concerns of
the governing council of Freedom Park; ‘how
best to promote Freedom Park, especially to
young children, and to schools in particular’.
INTRO.
The paper foregrounds the centrality and
uniqueness of F/P in the heritage industry with
its principle of the emancipation of the African
voice
The paper elucidates that Freedom Park is not
an African National Congress, ANC monument,
but the dream of the entire nation. See
examples overleaf.
EXAMPLES
After being taken on tour of the F/P, the great
grandson of President Paul Kruger was quoted as having
emotionally said that, “I felt the presence of my great
grand-father in this space” (Sipho Mdanda).
2. F/P Hosted 150th celebrations of the arrival of
Indians in 2010 in conjunction with 1860 Legacy
Project, the Foundation for Human Rights, and the
Gauteng provincial Government (p. 20 Quarterly Report
Oct-Nov 2010)
3. F/P consulted widely and visited 14 countries before
starting with the construction which began after 16
June 2002 to coincide with the youth month.
1.
INTRO: EXAMPLES
Who participated in F/P’s concetualisation?
• IKS practitioners and organic intellectuals
• Faith-based institutions including African Indigenous Churches
(AICs)
• Civic groups
• Traditional leaders
• Traditional healers
• International community (14 countries) and
• Workshops were conducted and another in 2010 on inter-faith
• Continuous consultation is on-going through dialogues
Cont.
The paper also celebrates F/P’s own champions:
• NELSON MANDELA
• The Arch, DESMOND MPILO TUTU
• GENERAL MASONDO (late)
• CREDO MUTWA
• THABO MBEKI
• WALLY SEROTE
• HARIETTE NGUBANE (late)
• YONAH SELETI and the
• F/P’s initial STAFF
METHODOLOGY
Qualitative and opportunistic -heavily based on
archival (F/P), primary materials (concept
papers: F/P) housed in F/P’s Pan African
Archives, PAA
-Annual & Quarterly Reports and
-Collegial conversations (colleagues)
-Engaging with visitors
FOUNDATIONS
Nelson Mandela envisioned a day not too far
when SA shall have a people’s shrine, a
freedom park, ‘where we shall honour with all
the dignity they deserve, those who endured
pain so we should experience the joy of
freedom’ (Freedom Park, undated)
FOUNDATIONS
The country is drenched in blood and needs a place of
healing, reconciliation and nation building (Mandela,
1999)
The Arch, as Tutu is affectionately known confirmed
the need for a ‘freedom park’, a Garden of
Remembrance for the nation which should be based on
the nation’s constitutional principles of;
• DEMOCRATIC
• NON-RACIAL and
• NON-SEXIST SOCIETY
(Act No. 108 of 1996)
PHILOSOPHICAL CONTEXT
• F/P utilises ontologies and epistemologies
that have their roots in Africa and its
Diaspora
• F/P foregrounds knowledge on civilisations
and cultures of Africa in telling the story of
SA ‘s pre-colonial, colonial, apartheid, post
apartheid history and heritage spanning 3.6.
billion years to commemorate those sheroes
and heroes who contributed to our freedom
and humanity
PHILOSOPHY
F/P’s phil. is embedded on the African concept of
humanity/humanness (ubuntu), oneneness, kindness
even to animals and nature around humans. It is
entrenched in the dictum that:
• I am because we are… therefore, I am
• Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu
• Motho kemotho kabatho
• Muntu ndimuthu ngavathu
• Umuntu muntu pa Bantu
• Omuntu nomuntu ahabwaBantu
• Munhu, munhu, nevanhu
PHILOSOPHY, cont.
• IKS: African epistemologies
• RECONCILIATION and NATION BUILDING to foster a
sense of unity, security and belonging
• African Renaissance and Thabo Mbeki’s world famous
speech, I am an African (15 May 1996)
• Pan-Africanism championed by the Diarspora Africans
and Marcus Garvey’s back-to Africa campaign and
• A strong African union
HISTORICAL CONTEXT
PRECOLONIAL –conflicts within various indigenous African
communities
GENOCIDE –evident up until 19th century
SLAVERY – chattel or traditional slavery introduced by the Dutch
from 17th century; inboekeling and trans-Atlantic slave trade
WARS OF RESISTANCE –indigenous peoples resistance against
European intrusion and colonialism
SOUTH AFRICAN WAR- 1899-1902
TWO WORLD WARS
LIBERATION STRUGGLE:
• Armed struggle
• Mass struggle
• Underground struggle
• International solidarity
LANGUAGE
• CONSTITUTION, Act 108 of 1996 including 1993
Constitution
• Unity in diversity (Rainbow Nation)
• Different languages are used in the naming of
features including Khoi-san, //Hapo (dream),
interpretive museum:
• //Hapo ge//hapo tama/ haohasib dis tamas ka I bo
( a dream is not a dream until it is shared by the entire
community)
FOUNDING LEGISLATION
• The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,
Act 108 of 1996
• Declared a Cultural Institution effective 01 April
2009 in terms of the Cultural Institutions Act 119
of 1998 and National Heritage Resource Act, No. 25
Sec. 71 of 1999
STRATEGIC LOCATION
•
Freedom Park is located on a 52 hectare site called Salvokop, Pretoria.
•
The Park lies between the M1 and Nelson Mandela Drive
•
F/P has 360 degrees panoramic views of the city
•
Voortrekker Monument
•
It is in full view of the Union Buildings, and in close proximity to UNISA to
the east and the Voortrekker Monument to the west
•
Reserve Bank
•
Gautrain and,
•
Strategically surrounded by Fort Klapperkop, Fort Kanskop & Fort
Wonderboom beyond
LONG WALK WITHIN THE PARK +- 2HRS
GRAPHIC REP. OF ELEMENTS
INTERCONNECTEDNESS
VISION AND MISSION
• Vision
Freedom Park purports to be a leading national and
international icon of humanity and freedom.
•
Mission
To provide a pioneering and empowering heritage destination in
order to mobilise for reconciliation and nation building in our
country; to reflect upon our past, improving our present and
building our future as a united nation; to contribute
continentally and internationally to the formation of better
human understanding among nations and peoples.
VALUES
Values
• In carrying out its mandate, Freedom Park is committed, but not
limited to the following values:
• Tolerance of diversity
• Inclusivity
• Trust
• Transparency
• Accountability
• Emancipation of the African voice
(Freedom Park Annual Report, 2009-2010)
KEY OBJECTIVES
(Those relevant to schools)
•
Contribute to social cohesion by positioning Freedom Park as a symbol of
national identity
•
Establish mechanisms to promote, protect and preserve Indigenous
Knowledge Systems (IKS).
DEPARTMENTS
1. The Office of the CEO & DCEO
2. HERITAGE AND KNOWLEDGE (Education Unit is
here)
3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
4. INNOVATION AND INCUBATION
5. PARKS OPERATIONS
5. HUMAN RESOURCES and
CENTRAL THEMES
Freedom Park strives to preserve:
• history
• culture
• spirituality
• IKS, and
• heritage of the nation in the context that will be respected
nationally and internationally; and cross-culturally
CORE BUSINESS
•
The creation of a memorial that will narrate the story of South Africa’s precolonial, colonial, apartheid, and post-apartheid history, culture,
spirituality, IKS and heritage, spanning a period of 3.6 billion years,
•
To acknowledge the heroes and sheroes that selflessly laid down their lives
for freedom of the country.
STATURE
• F/P is the heartbeat of all that is South African
heritage; the country’s history, culture, spirituality
and heritage
• It is the hub through which to know this land of
possibilities in all its diversity as it tells the story of
humanity
• It is a monument to democracy that serves to reflect
upon the country’s past, improve our present and
build our future as a united nation
Educational Responsibility
• F/P mobilises educational institutions at all levels to
educate learners/ students to engender social
cohesion (Quarterly Report, October to December:
2010)
• Therefore, it becomes very clear that Freedom
Park’s mandate is closely linked to education and
learners of this country
• This is in line with UNESCO’s Decade of Education for
Sustainable Development, 2005 –2014 which is to
integrate principles, values and practices of
sustainable development into all aspects of
education and learning.
MUSEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
F/P fosters principal avenues of museology ( the hub of
a country’s tourist industry);
1. Tangible culture and natural heritage: buildings,
monuments, landscapes, artefacts, books, works of art
2. Intangible culture: biodiversity and landscapes (See
Location)
3. Natural environment: flora and fauna, (biodiversity)
and
4. Geo-diversity: Geological elements: mineralogy,
geomorphology, paleontology etc
F/P encompasses all these; no institution in the world
covers history, culture and spirituality under one roof
THE ROLE OF THABO MBEKI
Thabo Mbeki demonstrated ‘fresh appreciation of the
intangible aspects of [African] heritage, such as oral
history, oral traditions, cultural expressions and
indigenous knowledge’ (Wells, 2008: 30).
His idea, founded on ideas of the legendary Nelson
Mandela and Archbishop Tutu was the creation of a
space for spiritual renewal in the form of a museum and
a monument to the conflicts and struggles that shaped
today’s free South Africa (Wells, 2008: 30).
MBEKI
Mbeki’s influence and passion for Freedom Park is
immense.
In constructing F/P, Mbeki was overwhelmed by
reigniting African Renaissance and pan-africanism with
his idea that the 21st century ‘is Africa’s century’
In his approach to conceptualisation, Mbeki was
obviously cautious about the possibility of western
influences in this phase
Mbeki took exceptional interest in ensuring that this
was kept to the minimum despite globalisation nuances
pushing ahead
MBEKI
In terms of the 2005 UNESCO Convention, cultural
diversity is a defining characteristic of humanity.
Article 1 of the 2005 Convention prescribes that all
nations should;
(a) protect and promote the diversity of cultural
expressions and
(b) create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to
freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner
(UNESCO Conventions, 2005).
MBEKI
Also greatly honoured at Freedom Park in the ‘Mbekiist’
idealism is the emancipation of the African voice, using
the tool of continued dialogues (Wells in Denis and
Ntsimane, 2008: 22)
Also of profound significance about Mbeki’s national
values is reconciliation, nation building and continent
building
Mbeki initiated the construction with the transplanting
of the African Olive tree on 16 June 2002 (See above)
THE MAIN FEATURES/ELEMENTS
•
Isivivane, a sacred space - It is a universal spiritual space, symbolising the
spiritual and cultural interconnectedness and commonness of humanity globally
• S’khumbuto – Remembrance with;
The Wall of Names
The Sanctuary
The Amphitheatre
The Gallery of Leaders
Eternal Flame
• Moshate – Presidential Suite
• Mvelezo, a spiral path – joins all the elements of Freedom Park
• Tiva – man-made dam (has since been put on hold)
• //Hapo – interactive museum
• Artworks (circle of peace and Origin of Tiva)
• Uitspanplek – resting and picnic spot
• Senhtlaga: fun spot for kids next to the museum, //Hapo
Note the use of different South African languages (Constitution)
FEATURES
• Pan African Archives, PAA (inside the museum) very important
for research purposes
• Resource Centre, library, also inside the museum
• State of the art technology with touch screens (in the Gallery of
Leaders) containing biographical data of these sheroes and
heroes and eminent leaders (See below)
//HAPO – the Museum
//HAPO – The Museum
More than a museum!
THE MUSEUM: ///HAPO - more than a museum
Freedom Park’s most significant narrative element is an
interactive museum called //Hapo: dream –: a title drawn from
an expression from the Khoisan people which says, ‘a dream is
not a dream until it is shared by the entire community’.
It is in this space that the story of the struggle of humanity for
freedom is told. It is also here where the story of mankind
dating back 3.6 billion years is told in a constructivist and
participatory manner creating a mutual relationship between
the staff and visitor.
Visitors touch and feel artefacts (fossils etc) unlike in conventional
museums as we know them
3.6 billion years - 7 Periods/Epochs:
NB. Not to be confused with the Eight Conflicts in the Wall of Names at S’khumbuto
1.
•
•
•
•
•
Epoch One – Earth
African creation story
Barberton rock
Fossils
Organisms and bacterial life
Graphic timeline
2 Epoch Two - Ancestors
• African spirituality
• African story of life and death and rituals
• Significance of ancestors and their role in daily activities of the living.
The 3.6 billion Story in //Hapo
3.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Epoch Three - Peopling
Technology in Africa before colonialisation
Africa’s history, trade and development.
Bantu civilizations and migrations
Slavery
The San and the Khoi
Pre-colonial systems of leadership
4 Epoch Four - Resistance and Colonization
• Perspective of foreign colonizer.
• Indigenous people and their generosity towards colonizers.
• Highlights IKS before colonizers arrived – IKS a tool for resistance
• Economic systems based on IKS and African epistemology
• Trade routes used by Voortrekkers
• How landscapes changed as divided by colonisers
The 3.6 billion Story in //Hapo
5.
•
•
•
•
Epoch Five - Industrialization and Urbanization
Industrialisation and mass production before colonizers.
Exploitative labour practices and breakdown in family structures
Urban life and strategies used to deal with new lives in the cities
Mineral wealth of South Africa and its implications for course of history and the
Union in 1910
• SA War from the perspective of a Black South African in preparation for the fact
of exclusion from the Union in 1910.
6 Epoch Six - Nationalisms and Liberation Struggle
• Exclusive and inclusive nationalisms
• Homelands
• Sol Plaatjie deputations to the UK
• Pixley KaSeme 1912 (foundations of modern resistance, led by learned, middle
class and kholwa)
• SANNC
• Freedom Charter, 1955, Kliptown (intensification of inclusive nationalisms)
• Strategies of the struggle (four pillars)
The 3.6 billion Story in //Hapo
7.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Epoch Seven - Nation Building and Continent Building
Circumstances that led to negotiations
Negotiations
Government sponsored violence
Freedom and excitement of 1994 – Tutu’s Rainbow people of God are born
TRC
AU and NEPAD, Africa’s Century, I am an African, African Renaissance etc.
“The World Cup 2010 will be organised in… South Africa!!!” –the culmination of
the struggle
A BREATHTAKING EXPERIENCE INSIDE //HAPO
EDUCATION UNIT
Is the newest having been started in June 2010
COMPOSITION ( with exceptionally qualified staff)
1. MANAGER
2. CURRICULUM DEVELOPER
3. EDUCATION OFFICERS and
4. STORY TELLERS
MANDATE OF THE UNIT
1. TO DEVELOP A CURRICULUM WHICH IS IN LINE WITH HERITAGE AND HISTORY
2. TO DEVELOP EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
3. TO INTERFACE WITH STAKEHOLDERS
4. TO PRESENT PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
5. TO TELL THIS STORY OF3.6.BILLION YEARS
EDUCATION METHODOLOGY
Educational programmes allow for interaction, interpretation, and
participation in a constructivist approach
Other methods encapsulated here are; (i) story-telling and (ii) ADIDAS:
Activity-Discussion-Input-Deepen-Analysis-Synthesis, ADIDAS
These methods, though spontaneously applied (but not story-telling)
ensure full participation by visitors regardless of their background. In the
context of The Freedom Park, ADIDAS considers the fact that the visitor is
not a tabular rasa –that the visitor has a priori knowledge; a Pythagorean
principle (Pythagoras of Samos, Greece, 582 - 500 BC)
The curriculum is based on F/P’s content, all its features, philosophy and
concept papers. It strongly links with and enriches the mainstream public
curriculum. It does not replace the teacher in the classroom: a heritage
site may not be a classroom, but should deliver heritage education, and
can link certain content with the school curriculum
Though relatively new in museology, story-telling at F/P would not be
conventional/traditional in approach, but rather, interactive
SOME EXAMPLES OF PROGRAMMES
Some examples; Steve Biko (BCM), TRC, Slavery, Sophiatown, spirituality
(Isivivane), resistance and colonialism, peopling, nation building,
urbanisation and industrialisation, xenophobia etc)
F/P targets all educational and academic institutions and other relevant
stakeholders such as research institutes. In this regard, the research unit
at F/P, in addition to developing content and biographies, produces
academic research and pays specific attention to IKS research
WHAT YOU CAN DO AT FREEDOM PARK
Freedom Park can be used for the following:
- As a research facility by visiting: Resource
Center/Library, Pan African Archives (PAA) etc
- Educational Tours
- General tours( guided & self-guided)
- Entertainment
- Functions
- Spiritual meditation
- Prayer
- Family rituals
- Interfaith rituals etc.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
• As a centre for understanding African Indigenous
Knowledge Systems (AIKS) and African medicinal
practices the Freedom Park Nursery will showcase
African indigenous plants –towards understanding
African medicinal healing in juxtaposition to western
medicinal practices and
• Also experience the flora including the Protea, SA’s
national flower
//HAPO BUILDING
•
THE DREAM: Pictures by author
//HAPO OUTSIDE
THE DREAM
//HAPO
THE DREAM CONTINUES
YOU AT FREEDOM PARK
INCLUSIVE NATIONALISMS
VISIT FREEDOM PARK
•
•
YOU CAN VISIT AND SHARE THE EXPERIENCE (GUIDED/UNGUIDED TOURS)
TIMES
09HOO
12H00
15H00
• PRICES
ADULTS: R45.00
KIDS/LEARNERS & PENSIONERS: R25.00
• YOU CAN BOOK FOR YOUR FUNCTION
SOCIAL GATHERINGS
PICNIC AT THE UITSPANPLEK
NB. INTOXICANTS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE PARK
Visit freedompark.co.za and/call +27 12 336 4000
WAITING FOR YOU
FREEDOM PARK IS WAITING FOR YOU!
HAVE YOU EVER VISITED THIS
COLLOSUS OF A GARDEN OF
REMEMBRANCE?
LOVE YOUR HISTORY, CULTURE & HERITAGE
I THANK YOU
–
the paper is being developed for
publication in SASHT’s 2012 Yesterday &
Today Journal to coincide with //Hapo
completion (ideas and comments welcome)
NB. Visit SASHT’s 2011 Conference
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