By: Zongezile Matshoba
It is with great interest to note that museums and their contribution to society are being recognised in the highest level of our government.
Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, delivering his keynote address at the launch of Ray Alexander-Simons Museum and Heritage Square, Gugulethu, Cape Town, said:
Establishing a museum and heritage square in Ray Alexander-Simons’ name will reflect history back to our people, especially the up and coming generation.
It is a positive step and should serve as a precedent for countless other comrades who are fading into historical amnesia after their selfless contribution to our freedom, often at a great cost to themselves.
The contents of this museum will bring our past back into life to remind the present and future generations that the present did not appear from nowhere.
The present is the outcome of the past and therefore the incubator of the future.
Often the clutter of the moment blinds us to these historical realities, of which comrade Ray was part of the agency that generated them.
As such this museum will be exhorting us to value the treasure inherent in a lived state of democracy without the tempting complacency to view it as a natural entitlement.
Interestingly, the 2011 theme for the International Museum Day under the banner of ICOM is Museum and Memory. Accordingto ICOM's website, the IMD 2011 will focus on the African continent whose cultural contribution to the world is often unknown and deserves to be promoted.
Albany Museum in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Province, has been at the forefront in celebrating IMD by taking the museum to the people.
ICOM - IMD 2011