The Apartheid Museum
Its use as a measuring tool.
Much has been written about apartheid and more is still to be, in international socio-political studies. It is therefore fitting that as part of this national narrative, an apartheid museum is in existence in the city of Johannesburg. This is simply because the history of this city is so intimately intertwined with this historical period of South Africa. Hence, nowhere else in the world today will you find the Apartheid Museum but here.
All museums serve to remind of the past – this is a vital function. However, this museum should not only be used as a memorial but also as a barometer against which our progression as a people from all that apartheid represented to a more common destiny can be measured.
This means that the Apartheid Museum must evolve in our minds from being just another tourist destination and rather into an educational utility for those still in school, as well as a place of regular reflection and awakening for those who have completed their schooling.
Having said that, it should also not be taken as a font of depression, that would be a mistake. There are many light interludes interspersed in the heavier moments displayed there, resulting in a new awakening for many who have visited it.
Also of importance is that its function be highlighted away from that of a tool of recriminations into one that represents a milestone from which we depart from past division.
Only when we bring to the surface these and other pearls that lie undiscovered under the somber roof of the Apartheid Museum will we appreciate the true value of the asset we have in it.