District Six remembered

ENLIGHTENING: Yazeed Kamaldien with guest panelists at the launch screening of This Was Our Home.


A new documentary film about District Six is helping to raise awareness among students of the painful history of the area.

While CPUT’s Cape Town Campus was built on District Six land, many students don’t know its history and Cape Town filmmaker and journalist Yazeed Kamaldien set out to change this.

“This is an area well-known for apartheid era forced removals but young students do not know the story of the land where they are walking, studying and in some cases living as there are campus residences in the area, says Kamaldien, who is also a CPUT alumnus.

He initiated the documentary film project called This Was Our Home. The final product is 18 minutes long and consists of a series of short clips.

“The aim was to get former residents to walk around on the campus and talk about what was there before. I wanted to create a site specific intervention as opposed to forcing students to watch the videos.”

The launch screening was held on May 6 at the St Mark’s Anglican Church in District Six and was supported by the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Units at CPUT.

“At the very least, it is my hope that students understand the context of the space where they are studying. They are in an area that is historical. I don’t want to impose anything on the students but can only hope that with understanding the history of the area that they would be able to relate better to their own identity as a South African. He said screenings in students’ classrooms were taking place and more screenings were being planned.

Short clips from the film can be viewed on the Facebook page via the following link:

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Picture by Joshua Rossiter

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