Cape Flats Stories: A Bleak Past and an Uncertain Future

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Cape Flats Stories is an exhibition currently on at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. Separated into 3 parts, it tells of the ongoing struggle of at-risk youth living in the townships of Cape Flats, one of the poorest areas of Cape Town.

Cape Flats Stories

Cape Flats is an area on the outskirts of Cape Town where non-Whites were dumped during the apartheid era. It was notorious for poor housing conditions and a lack of infrastructure.

Cape Flats neighbourhoods
map of Cape Flats and the different townships

The first room contains a photo mural of daily life in Cape Flats. Youngsters were given cameras and told to document their daily life. The images are very powerful, and occasionally bleak.

Cape Flats photos

cape flats mosaic

cape flats mosaic

The second room tells the individual stories of some of the teenagers involved in the project. There is a wide range of stories mostly identifying the hardships the teenagers face such as abject poverty, diseases, or abusive relationships.

Cape Flats Teenager

The third room looks to the future with artwork on the walls encouraging a positive approach towards life. People are encouraged to write their own messages of encouragement for the youth of Cape Flats.

dream Graffitti

We encouraged our children to think about what they wanted to say and to write a message.

writing on the wall

The Cape Flats Stories exhibit made us realise that the stories of the people memorialised in the District 6 Museum do not remain in the past. If the District 6 Museum represented the history of apartheid, this exhibit examines its impact on the current generation.

Margaret Mead Quote

The future may be uncertain but there are glimmers of hope.


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2 thoughts on “Cape Flats Stories: A Bleak Past and an Uncertain Future”

  1. Problem is that throughout South Africa’s history the mixed-race people (Coloureds) have always been caught in the middle of the country’s political sandwich – forever marginalized.

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