Gendered representations in museums: examples from South Africa
Presented by Ayanda Ngcobo (Museum officer, Bergtheil Museum, eThekwini Local History Museums, Durban South Africa) on 12/02/2021.
ARROWSA - Indra workshop as part of the South to North and SAUKINDIA projects including youth from South Africa, India and United Kingdom
One of a series of workshops partially funded by National Arts Council, SA.
Blog post written by Luyanda Makoba-Hadebe
"Most people have little or no say in the depiction of their own history in textbook, libraries and research institutions[museums]. The meaning portrayed about Africans is painful to recall. Our museums represented the kind of heritage which glorified whites' activities and colonial history." – Nelson Mandela, 1997.
The world health organisation defines gender as a socially constructed characteristic that defines women, men, girls, and boys (WHO,2021). The impact that gender has goes beyond the social parameters that impact one personally—gender impacts who gets seen and how they are represented in history. Ayanda Ngcobo, a master's student and a Museum officer at Bergtheil Museum in Westville, Durban work revolves around women's representation in museums. Ayanda believes that "Museums represented the power holders, their concepts of museology, of public commemoration and society." (Ngcobo,2018).
Valencia Gushu of Bergtheil Museum, LHM, Durban watches storyteller Dr Gcina Mhlope use storytelling to describe the cultural heritage of the iGwalagwala Cliff archaeological site.