Monday, November 18, 2013

The Apartheid Museum: Johannesburg, South Africa

Apartheid: Afrikaans “the state of being apart”, a systematic racial segregation once enforced by the legislation of ruling white parties in South Africa.  

I could gush.

I could cringe.

I could try to relay the forty emotions that churned my brain and heart during my recent afternoon at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.

But I will try my best to push those aside for the sake of simply introducing you to a monumental place that stands as a celebration and a mourning for the souls affected by apartheid.

Though much of the museum is inside, visitors start their journey through art installations outside.

The museum walks visitors through the progression of evolving rock art (also called cave paintings) done in South Africa before and after white settlers moved in.  Here images of men with guns start to be seen, then years later images of their horses and carnage takes the place of images of wild animals.  Later images evolved to depictions of massacres.

Videos, pictures, and relics present a thorough history of South Africa's struggle with apartheid.

Here we post a stick in honor of the inspiration we have received from Nelson Mandela, whose life and work are currently featured in the special exhibition hall. 

With empty rooms of space to grow, the museum itself seemed to say, "The story's not over.  More progress expected."  I hope so, South Africa. I hope so.

To read a more personal account of my time in South Africa's most significant museum, please click here: