An archive and exhibition presented by the Constantia Heritage and Education Project, Centre for Curating the Archive, Christ Church Constantia and Kent Andreasen opens at the Iziko Groot Constantia Orientation Centre
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Iziko Museums of South Africa is pleased to present Hidden Rivers – the untold story of the people of Konstantie – a travelling archive and exhibition presented by the Constantia Heritage and Education Project, Centre for Curating the Archive, Christ Church Constantia and photographer Kent Andreasen, opening at the Iziko Groot Constantia Orientation Centre on Friday, 3 September 2021.
Focusing specifically on the dispersed community of Constantia, displaced by the Group Areas Act of the 1950s, Hidden Rivers begins its journey in Constantia at the Iziko Groot Constantia Manor House, and will travel to other locations throughout the city. In doing so, this exhibition follows the passage of those who were forcibly removed from their homes in Constantia.
Primarily made up of photographs, Hidden Rivers is presented as an interactive exhibition and showcases both contemporary photographs taken of members of the dispersed Constantia community and photographs exhibited from former community members’ personal archives. Oral histories of accounts collected from this community are also on display – written on boards, published in books for the public to read on site, and presented as video and audio recordings. In addition, found objects are incorporated into Hidden Rivers, including items from community members’ homes, as well as objects from the natural environment that evoke memory: cow manure once used as the flooring of farm cottages, local flowers and plants, and barrels of water.
Hidden Rivers is led by an active committee of former and current Constantia residents, with the aim of building a permanent community centre dedicated to the preservation of heritage and education in the Constantia Valley. This timely multimedia exhibition and archive responds to the need for community restoration initiatives – and highlights the importance of fostering integrated communities in South Africa that acknowledge the country’s multiple histories and its diverse heritage.
Hidden Rivers opens on Friday, 3 September and runs throughout Heritage Month (September) 2021. The Iziko Groot Constantia Orientation Centre is open from Mondays to Sundays, from 10h00 until 15h00.