Kewpie:Daughter of District Six – Opening Night, Dialogue, Heritage Day Parade and Public Artworks

Exhibition Opening Event

The Kewpie: Daughter of District Six exhibition opened to a large crowd at the District Six Homecoming Centre on 20 September 2018, realizing a long-held dream of GALA’s to exhibit the photographs in the phenomenal Kewpie Photographic Collection. The launch evening started off with refreshments as a diverse crowd, predominantly made up of young queer Cape Town and ex- District Six residents, came together to celebrate and commemorate Kewpie, a queer figure who lived in District Six before the forced removals.

Photographs by Fayros Jaffer

Speeches were given by Bonita Bennett (Director of The District Six Museum) and Keval Harie (Director of GALA), each followed by a performance by Miss Ina Propriette, who sang and danced to songs that Kewpie loved; Dancing Queen by Abba, and If I Were Your Woman, by Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Bonita Bennett, Director of the District Six Museum
Miss Ina Propriette performing to ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA
Keval Harie, Director of GALA
Keval Harie, GALA, handing over a gift to Bonita Bennett, District Six Museum
Curators handing over a gift to Ursula Hansby, Kewpie’s sister
Miss Ina Propriette dancing to ‘If I Were Your Woman’ by Gladys Knight and the Pips

The Directors cut the ribbon and officially opened the exhibition. Fabulously dressed people mingled and experienced the exhibition. Young people got to learn about an alternative historical narrative, and older people told personal stories of the time they had spent with Kewpie.

Bonita Bennett and Keval Harie opening the exhibition for viewing

Photographs by Fayros Jaffer

Dialogue and Exhibition Walkabout, ‘Remembering Queer District Six’ 

On Saturday the 22nd of September 2018, an exhibition walkabout and dialogue was held to offer a guided tour of the exhibition by the curators and to allow a more intimate and meaningful discussion around the historical, social and political background of Kewpie’s story, and current challenges that remain for the LGBTIQ community.

Photographs by GALA staff

Heritage Day, ‘Reclaiming with Pride’

On Monday the 24th of September, Heritage Day, the District Six Museum hosted their annual Heritage Day Parade/March. This year’s parade was dedicated to Kewpie, with the theme “Reclaiming with Pride”. Death of Glitter, a queer art collective joined forces with District Six Museum to facilitate costume-making workshops for people to wear during the Parade.

In the week before the exhibition opened, large scale wheat-paste artworks began to appear in and around District Six, put up by Jarrett Erasmus of Burning Museum. These were photographs of Kewpie and/or her friends. The placement of the wheat-paste-ups correlated to key locations in Kewpie’s life.

The public artworks became key stops on the route of the Heritage Day Parade, allowing for participants to celebrate Kewpie in the places she lived her life, and in a sense, return her legacy to her home.

Photographs by GALA staff

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