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SEPTEMBER is Heritage Month and Pietermaritzburg’s museums will be celebrating the country’s past with a range of activities during the coming weeks.
The Msunduzi Heritage Forum celebrations culminate in the staging of the Heritage Expo in the Liberty Midlands Mall from 9 am to 5.30 pm on September 24 (Heritage Day).
The organisations and institutions taking part include the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, Macrorie House, St Helena Society, the Natal Inland Family History Society and Natal Inland Branch of S.A. Genealogical Society, the Heritage Society, Amis Siyakhula — The French Connection, the Tatham Art Gallery, St Nicholas School, Pietermaritzburg Archive Repository, and the Msunduzi Museum, incorporating the Voortrekker Complex National Museum of South Africa.
Another unmissable event, especially for those interested in investigating their family history, is the training session being hosted by the Natal Inland Family History Society and Natal Inland Branch of the S.A. Genealogical Society at 5 pm on September 17.
It will take place in the Family History Society’s clubhouse in the Natal Carbineer’s grounds (entrance via Geere Street) and admission is free. For more information phone John Deare at 033 344 2170 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tatham Art Gallery in Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Street will be hosting a new exhibition in its main exhibition hall, which will showcase the work of Michael Subotzky, the Standard Bank Young Artist for Fine Art. Retinal Shift will open at 6 pm on September 20. Safe parking is available on the Church Street side of the gallery.
The exhibition, which runs until November 11, centres on a four-channel film installation, produced for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and the exhibition tour.
Other photographic, video and installation works complete the show.
Retinal Shift investigates the practice and mechanics of looking. The works in the show draw on archival portraits from the last century, found surveillance footage, and Subotzky’s own photographs from various series that are re-contextualised.
On September 27, Bren Brophy, curator at the KZNSA Gallery, will conduct an interactive walkabout of the exhibition from 1 pm to 2 pm.
Booking is essential. Phone Thulani at 033 392 2823 or Pinky at 033 392 2811.
Other events taking place in Heritage Month include:
• Macrorie House Museum, Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street — September 16, from 9 am to 1 pm: Tours of the museum and talks and demonstrations on natural organic pesticides and on the benefits of herbs. Entrance is free and there will be tea or coffee, and cake for sale at R15. There will also be a book sale to raise funds for a new display. All books cost R5. Inquiries: Roxie at 033 394 2161 or 072 433 2023.
• St Helena Society — September 20 at 6 pm for 6.30 pm: Documentary film on St Helena in the Comrades Hall, 18 Connaught Road, Scottsville. Admission is free. Inquiries: e-mail Lee Du Preez at : email@example.com or phone 072 739 3519.
• Msunduzi Voortrekker Museum, Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street — September 21 from 10 am to noon: Traditional food tasting event. Entry is free with secure parking. Space is limited. RSVP by September 14 to Lestelle Barnwell at 033 394 6834 or e-mail lbarnwell@msunduz imuseum.org.za
• KwaZulu-Natal Museum, Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street — September 21 at 10 am: Heritage Day street parade followed by a multicultural dance programme. Inquiries: 033 345 1404.
— Arts Editor.