Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa • illuminaija
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Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa

   
   

Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa

Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s.

Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa

It was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on the minority white supremacy politically, socially, and economically. 

Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa

According to this system of social stratification, white citizens had the highest status, followed by Asians and Coloureds, then black Africans. 

   
   

The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story.

The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. 

At least five times a year events are held at the museum to celebrate the end of apartheid and the start of multiracial democracy for the people of South Africa. 

Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa

The Pillars of the Constitution is the first exhibit visitors see when visiting the Apartheid Museum. Located in the courtyard, it includes one pillar for each of the seven values that are enshrined in the South African Constitution: democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect, and freedom.

Race Classification is both an entry point and an exhibit. Apartheid was built on divisions by race: native, white, coloured, and Asian. 

Required identity documents indicated one’s race, and these are on view in this exhibit. 

Visitors to the museum have just entered at this point, using one of two entrances, white and non-white, based on randomly generated entrance tickets. The actual items one sees in the exhibit are determined by which entry point one has had to use.

Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa

The next exhibit, which is outside on the way to the museum building, is Journeys. 

It includes large photos of the descendants of individuals who came to Johannesburg in the aftermath of the discovery of gold in 1886. 

There was a wide racial diversity amongst these individuals. Apartheid was designed to segregate individuals from different races.

When walking through this exhibit, one encounters the backs of these individuals, as if they are walking in the same direction as the visitor is heading. By turning back once one has passed a photograph, it is possible to see the person from the front.

The Segregation exhibit provides background on the official policy of segregation that became a feature of the union of South Africa, which was formed in 1910. Blacks and white women were not allowed to vote under this policy. Segregation laid the way for apartheid. 

   
   

Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa

Exploring The Apartheid Museum In South Africa

   
   

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