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Opening of Parliament 2020 - Castle Closure

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the Castle will be closed to the general public on Thursday 13 February 2020.


#Youngcreatives: Self Exploration Through Photographic Expression

12th September 2018.

Artistic expression comes forth in many forms, be it through dancing, singing, writing and drawing – it lives and its breathes. Cape Town has become renowned for its artistic expression through up and coming artists who express themselves through their art work, exploring narratives behind it.
Photography is one such art form which does just that. It changes the way in which you view reality and the things you may overlook. It expresses sadness, joy, beauty and depth through a focused lens.

In early August, Earl Abrahams and Wandie Mesatywa, second residency photographers of Amplify Studio in Cape Town were featured in a residency photographic exhibition titled, My Identity which explored these young, talented South African photographer’s identities.

Abrahams’ project, Coloured In, explored spatial and racial segregation passed on through the Group Areas Act under the Apartheid Regime, which gave way to exploration of his identity and community.
Mesatywa’s project, Iqhiya captured the beauty of Iqhiya, also known as the doek or head wrap, declaring her pride in being a Xhosa woman.

Here, Abrahams and Mesatywa share with us what the project meant to them, their love of photography and their plans moving forward.

 

Can you tell us more about what this project meant to you as an individual?

Abrahams: My project ‘Coloured In’ was a deeply personal and explorative one that forced me to confront myself and my identity as a so called ‘coloured man’. It steered me into a reflective space, forcing me to ask really hard questions about my community, people, space and current state of the City in which I had lived for so long.

     

Photography by Earl Abrahams.

 

My project allowed me to pause for a moment, to tackle issues in my head and heart – and I feel that ‘Coloured In’ has given me the foundations to continue creating…

Mesatywa: The project meant I had to open up to strangers and people I already know. And that was hard for me. I am a private person and I like my own space. This project opened room for people to interrogate me, my beliefs, and the culture I was born into. It has certainly brought me closer to my inner self…

 

In which ways has the project amplified your own identity?

Abrahams: It has amplified my own identity through granting me clarity of understanding of my own views and the views of those around me in relation to our community spaces and their challenges. The understanding of how complex and increasingly involved it would be to dismantle the inculcated systems that still reign within society today.

Mesatywa: I wouldn’t say amplified but it made me more aware of how further away I am to my true identity as a Xhosa speaking person. In relation to and with my culture. So the venture to self-exploration continues until my identity is amplified:).

 

What has it meant to you to be a part of the Amply Studio’s residency photographic exhibition?

Abrahams: It has truly been an honour to be a part of the Amplify residency programme/exhibition. This programme has given me the opportunity to develop as an artist and has given me a clearer focus of my future artistic endeavours.

Mesatywa: It meant breaking boundaries in the industry of art as a professional and recent graduate. As well as not conforming to expectations but realising the true potential of what I could achieve as an artist and a black young woman.

 

Photography by Wandie Mesatywa.

 

Has photography always been a passion of yours? What is it about this art form that you love?

Abrahams: Inline skating was always my first love/passion (and I’ve been inline skating for more than 20 years). I got introduced to photography through inline skating and I generally only use to engage with it in that space. It is only within the last four years that I decided to venture out of the confines of the inline skating world and develop a new found love and passion for the story telling prowess that photography gives me access to.

What I love about this art form is that it allows me the freedom to share my worldview with others – I also love the diversity that photography offers – whether it be street, wildlife, fashion, conceptual photography – this art form has room for anyone and everyone.

Mesatywa: It is hard to say that it has always been a passion of mine, as it was a strange finding – when I realised it was something I loved, it was more of the freedom it gave me and satisfaction that I fell in love with. Only later I started appreciating and loving the artistic side of it.

 

What are your plans moving forward? Are there any other projects and/ or exhibitions that you’re currently involved in/ planning?

Abrahams: I’ve recently relocated up to Johannesburg, so I plan to showcase the work in Jozi before the end of the year. I also have a part two of Coloured In that I have started working on and will hopefully be showcasing this body of work sometime next year. I’ve also started a new video series called TALK which showcases various individuals in the creative and other industries.

Mesatywa: I plan on producing more work around the same theme of identity. I am also involved in a group exhibition We Cannot Be Silent, which is currently showing at the Castle of Good Hope until 24 September. I am also part of a group show launching in September at Everard Read Gallery at the V&A Waterfront, as well as another group show in Hamburg, Germany also launching in September.

 

Do you have any message for those exploring their own artistic creativity or expression?

Abrahams: Believe in yourself and your abilities – start your own projects, even if you don’t have everything mapped out yet. You’ll be amazed at how a concept can lead you to other opportunities. Most importantly, tell your story – it’s those stories that have the ability to shift perspectives and help others to believe in themselves.

Mesatywa: Staying true to who you are is what adds depth and authenticity to one’s creativity. Therefore, I would say never lose touch with who you.

Abrahams and Mesatywa’s photography exhibits at Amplify Studios until the end of September.

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By the time you read this message, I hope that students have successfully completed their exams, Mom and Dad finished work and that you all are ready to join your loved ones on a well-deserved year-end break. To you and all our international visitors, welcome and thanks for your ongoing support. We in the tourism industry, is 110% ready to make the long holiday of 2019/20 a festive and ultra-memorable one.

Instead of our usual festive message (wear flat shoes, responsible enjoyment, safety tips, no-drinking and driving, etc.), we would rather share with you the hundreds of interesting things to gaze at, experience and enjoy at South Africa’s oldest operating colonial building – the 353-year-old Castle of Good Hope. 

We strongly recommend that you spend at least half a day to reflect and get a sense of where we come from, where we are and where we are going to in this beautiful land of ours. Here we go:

  1. Check out and feed the millions of Fish in the Moat (water mass around the Castle).
  2. Look and listen to the Indigenous Birds on the Moat.
  3. Swim - yes take a swim (by permission only) in the Moat!
  4. Take a picture at the Canons at the entrance or others scattered all over the Castle grounds.
  5. Take a picture of the two Lions at the Main Entrance.
  6. Then go into the stunning Ceramics Museum and appreciate the original lions.
  7. Take a selfie at the oldest post box (PO Box 1).
  8. Admire our Pyramid (ammunition store) at the main entrance.
  9. Visit the WW1 & WW2 memorials.
  10. Enjoy our excellent guides on one of the Free Site Tours.
  11. Check out and take a picture at the massive Ship’s Anchor left of the main entrance.
  12. Visit the Waterblommetjie Gardens.
  13. If Dutch, check out your Regional Emblem on top of the main gate.
  14. Touch (ouch, the spikes) a real Armoured Door.
  15. Bump into a world-famous Film Star (if filming happens).
  16. If not, visit the film sets.
  17. Chomp on a Castle Burger.
  18. Peek into a 21st Century Conference room in the 353-year Adam Tas Hall.
  19. Take a picture on the only spot where not a single sign of the City is visible.
  20. Hunt your Ghosts.
  21. Get married in a 350-year old chapel.
  22. Participate in a local Khoi ceremony.
  23. Listen to local Ghoema Music.
  24. Take selfies with the Warrior Kings of the Castle.
  25. Embrace the Lady of Good Hope.
  26. Visit the original gravesite of Krotoa (Eva).
  27. Or reflect at Krotoa’s Memorial.
  28. Gaze at the oldest brand (VOC) in the world.
  29. Enter the first, original Parliamentary Chamber in colonial/modern South Africa.
  30. Reflect on life in a Restitution Garden.
  31. Gaze at a deconstructed colonial exhibition.
  32. Have a Picnic on the Lawn (water-restrictions permitting).
  33. Hear a real Canon Firing.
  34. Observe the only Key-Ceremony on the country.
  35. Visit the William Fehr Museum.
  36. Sleepover in a real Jail.
  37. Visit the Military Museum.
  38. Enjoy a bite at the Castle Five-Star (named after the five bastions) Restaurant.
  39. Then visit the Leerdam, Buuren, Katzenellenbogen, Oranje and Nassau Bastions.
  40. Admire the view of Table Mountain like nowhere else.
  41. Be amazed by the original Sea-ward Entrance of the Castle.
  42. Visit the jail of Zulu King Cetswayo.
  43. Imagine seeing Lady Anne Barnard in the Dolphin Pool.
  44. Check out Simon Van der Stel’s Cellar.
  45. Dare to enter the Torture Chamber.
  46. Experience the horrors of real Instruments of Torture.
  47. Locate the real “Dark Hole/Donker Gat.”
  48. Lock yourself up (joke) in an Old Ammunition Room.
  49. Pick up a memento at the Castle Gift Shop.
  50. Enjoy this time-capsule of southern African history and heritage.

I thank you for your continued support and wish you a safe, healthy, happy and blessed holiday season.

Yours in heritage for development

CEO - Castle Control Board

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Latest Events

To see the latest upcoming events at the Castle of Good Hope, click on a day or the month title to display the event(s).

February 2020
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Key Ceremony

TIMES
10:00|12:00 

This showcases the unlocking of the Van der Stel entrance of the Castle of Good Hope by the ceremonial guards of the castle. It is a past practice that is still practised today.

Canon Firing

TIMES
10:00|11:00|12:00 

The firing of the signal cannon was used to indicate that a ship had been sighted at sea and to relay the message to people inside the fort. You can view the firing of an old cannon, performed by the Cannon Association of South Africa.

Guided Tours

TIMES
11:00|12:00|14:00|15:00|16:00 

Unearth the hidden history of the Castle with a guided tour led by an experienced guide. Tours operate seven days a week.

 

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