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The absence of memory in design-led urban regeneration.

An event co-hosted by the District Six Museum and the African Centre for Cities.
Recently there has been an important shift in public policy thinking in Cape Town. The city of Cape Town has been developing a cultural renewal strategy for the metropolitan area, with a particular focus on the ‘East City’. This strategy is based on the premise of design as a powerful creator of value and potential driver of growth, with far reaching regional economic benefits. These plans are presented as part of a socially inclusive agenda; but despite Cape Town’s aspiration to use design as a tool for resolving structural inequality, institutionalised racism, social and economic exclusion and marginalisation remain firmly in place.
In this context, the Public Culture CityLab at the African Centre for Cities, with the District Six Museum, have convened a discussion following a series of short presentations concerning "The Fringe Innovation District" in the East City. The area designated as ‘The Fringe’ is intertwined with District Six and yet that history of the space, with its memory of forced removals, has not figured significantly in the ‘cultural regeneration’ plans for the East City. What place is there for memory and history within culture-led urban development? What risk is there that contemporary stylizations of Cape Town might serve to obliterate local histories and entrench the status quo? What of District Six, not only as symbol and museum, but as marker of the pasts that haunt the present?
When: Wednesday 29 May 2013, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Where: District Six Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street Cape Town
Kai Berthold – Exploring gentrification in cities around the world
Kai Berthold is a visiting student from Koln International School of Design (KISD) in Germany. He is part of a project called The Gentrification Relay that worked with Cape Town students to investigate and address issues around gentrification and the East City. 15 mins
Andrew Putter – Harrington Square for the neighbourhood
The artist Andrew Putter is working for the Cape Town Partnership to facilitate the public involvement in the unfolding of Harrington Square as a public place. 15 mins
Bonita Bennett - District Six Museum Statement: Erasure of memory in the remaking of the East City.
The District Six Museum as a cultural institution promotes innovative curatorial practices in addressing issues of memory and dislocation. In considering the place-making strategies for developing the East City, what place is there for understanding the politics of erasure? 15 mins
Ismail Farouk - Conflicting rationalities: Post-apartheid spatial legacies and the Creative City
Ismail Farouk presents some of the results of his long-term investigation into understanding the precinct development in the East City. His work explores the tensions and challenges in redressing historical inequalities in Cape Town through ‘design’. 15 mins
Followed by discussion 30 mins
 Event chaired by Ralph Borland

About the venue: The District Six Museum seeks to develop policies relating to heritage and memory that are both grounded in and seek to develop the interests of the poor and dispossessed.

For more information: Contact Mandy Sanger,
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