To mark the forty year anniversary of June 16 student uprisings, Centre for African Studies (CAS) Gallery at UCT is hosting an exhibition called 1976/360 from June 15th to August 18th 2016. The 1976 moment is deeply etched in most South African minds. It is a moment when Soweto students resisted not only Afrikaans being taught as a form of tuition, but more importantly courageously defied ‘Bantu Education’ and the Apartheid system itself. June 16 1976 sparked protests and uprisings throughout the country for the next few months. Official statistics suggest that 595 people died during the uprisings.
How do we reflect on this cataclysmic moment in our history today? What is its importance in the present climate? How do we understand 1976 in relation to our national popular memory? 1976/360 intersects with the iconic imagery of the time by photographers like Sam Nzima and Peter Magubane, as well as lesser known archives, in particular from the Independent archive in Cape Town. Besides photographs there will also be installations that will reflect a range of voices from a UCT perspective as well and those engaged in national dialogue about reconciliation and healing. The exhibition will also show a selected collection of art work from the UCT Works of Art Collection that directly speaks to this iconic moment.
Curated by Nkululeko Mbandla and Paul Weinberg, 1976/360 engages with celebration, memory and struggle, contextualised in the present. It is part of a broad theme of the Centre for African Studies this year, focusing on student activism, not only from a South African perspective, but globally as well. A seminar programme will be in place for the duration of the exhibition.
The exhibition will also be launching veteran photographer, Peter Magubane’s most recent book, which documents these moments forty years ago.