Debating Space, History and Heritage: The Bo-Kaap Sites

  • Posted: Nov 15, 2012

The Bo-Kaap Sites Seminar at, Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, Wale Street, 20 November 2012

Iziko Museums of South Africa, in partnership with Vidamemoria Heritage Consultants, will host a seminar: Debating Space, History and Heritage, the Bo-Kaap Sites on 20 November 2012. The event will take place in the Community Hall at the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, Wale Street at 09:00.

The Bo-Kaap area has a multi-faceted history. Its architectural heritage, links with the history of slavery, the development and spread of Islam and its contribution to the development of the Afrikaans language are examples of its significance, not only for Cape Town and the Western Cape but, for South Africa as a whole.

The Tana Baru Cemetery, the Prayer Quarry and various other sites of the Bo-Kaap have weathered a number of storms in the past, including the Slums Act of 1934, the Group Areas Act and, in recent years, a property boom, encroaching commercialization and gentrification.  These heritage sites represent a diversity of narratives, many of which still have to be adequately researched and told.

This public dialogue is aimed at stimulating a wider interest in these heritage sites and encouraging greater understanding of Bo-Kaap’s historical and cultural significance. Furthermore, it seeks to encourage a sharing of memories linked to Bo-Kaap sites, in order to build more inclusive narratives of the area and to gain commitment to developing effective strategies for the preservation and interpretation of these sites.

Speakers will include Mr Osman Shaboodien (Bo-Kaap Civic Association Chairperson), Dr Noëleen Murray (Geography Department,University of Western Cape) and Professor Stephen Townsend (School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics,University of Cape Town). 

The seminar is open to members of the public and entrance is free.

For further information contact Paul Tichmann, Curator: Iziko Social History; phone: 021 – 467 7215; e-mail:

Date:               20 November 2012
Venue:             Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum Community Hall
Registration:    09h00 – 09h30



Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko) operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and 3 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 which reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation which brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, as well as unlimited free access to individuals aged 18 and under (excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium).


71 Wale Street, 1950s. Lückhoff Collection; Iziko Social History Collections Bo-Kaap 14 August


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