Red in the Rainbow becomes permanent at ISL
First floor dedicated to struggle history casts fresh light on the dreams and aspirations that shaped the new South Africa.
Opening on Tuesday, 27 April 2021, the exhibition Red in the Rainbow offers fascinating insights into the idealism, vision, as well as the frustrations, pain and sheer persistence that led to the ending of apartheid and the birth of “the Rainbow Nation”. This multimedia exhibition features graphic, video and sound material, as well as a reconstructed replica prison cell from the 1970s. Red in the Rainbow forms a key part of a major permanent exhibition dedicated to struggle history at the Iziko Slave Lodge in Cape Town.
Inspired by author and exhibition co-curator Lynn Carneson’s book of the same title, Red in the Rainbow speaks to the broader issues of justice, oppression, human rights and commitment by a myriad of families, individuals, organisations, and religious and political bodies that came together to overcome the vicious apartheid system that had entrenched superiority and dominance in a minority population.
“While the book was based upon my own family history in the struggle – the terror, the pain and the joys of being a child of two dedicated freedom fighters – the greater emphasis is on the many comrades from all backgrounds across the country who united around a shared dream of a better South Africa,” says Carneson. “The exhibition presents a wonderful example of what South Africa can actually achieve once people are prepared to put aside their differences and prejudices and work together for a common good. This is a vital message in a year when we look forward to the end of lockdown and a more harmonious way of life.”
The exhibition is situated on the first floor of the Iziko Slave Lodge, and is laid out as an experience taking the visitor through the history of the Carneson family, starting in the 1950s and running right up until 1994 and the first fully democratic election.
“We are delighted to be providing a permanent home for this significant and very moving exhibition,” says Ms Rooksana Omar, Chief Executive Officer, Iziko Museums of South Africa. “It is the updated version of an exhibition of the same name that was first successfully launched at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Following this success, Red in the Rainbow toured to Pietermaritzburg, Makhanda (Grahamstown) and back to Cape Town, receiving enthusiastic feedback everywhere. As a permanent exhibition, it will not only attract tourists, but will be an educational resource for learners, students and young people who never knew apartheid and the years of struggle to overcome it.”
The Iziko Slave Lodge is an important public space where issues of redress against suppression and dominance is addressed and foregrounded. This exhibition is testimony to the fact that numerous individuals and families were committed towards contributing to a democratic South Africa, and comes as an important reflection of a family which learners, students, visitors and tourists can make reference to when seeking information about the apartheid era. Lynn Carneson has been very generous to share her family experiences in the public domain.
For further information about the exhibition and what’s on offer at Iziko Museums, visit www.iziko.org.za. Please note that, due to Covid-19 safety protocols, the Iziko Slave Lodge is currently open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, between 10:00 and 14:30. Please visit the Iziko website for more details on Covid-19 protocols.
About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)
Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium and Digital Dome, the Social History Centre and three collection specific libraries in Cape Town. The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage. Iziko is a public entity and public benefit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure. The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope, Groot Constantia and Planetarium and Digital Dome). Visit our webpage at www.iziko.org.za, join our online community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IzikoMuseums), Instagram (@izikomuseumssa) or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.
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Issued by: Ellen Agnew
Communications Coordinator: Iziko Museums of South Africa
Telephone: 021 481 3830
Issued on behalf of the Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa