It’s been a pretty eventful week here in Cape Town as the World Cup progressed into the knockout stages and I transitioned away from working on the Offside exhibition. Now that it’s officially open, I’ve been tasked with helping some of the members of the Exhibition Department to think of ways to market it. Since the new exhibition and the Fields of Play exhibit are located in the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre about a block away from the main museum building, many visitors come to the museum without even knowing that there is a separate building to explore.
From my perspective, the biggest problem is that there are no signs or clear publicity material educating visitors about Offside and Fields of Play. So that’s where I decided to start. With some creative inspiration and help from Microsoft Word, I spent a good deal of time this past week creating a poster to be displayed at the museum entrance and at the welcome desk. On the poster I put the museum entrance fee information (a visitor to the main museum building pays an entrance fee of 20 /$2.50, while entrance to both buildings costs R35/$4.50) along with a description of the new exhibits.
My hope is that prominently displaying the pricing schedule for both exhibits will inform visitors right off the bat that there is more to see. Obviously this is a small first step, but I am hoping that it will help to increase the number of visitors who engage with the exhibitions and also increase entrance fee revenue for the museum. An extra R15 a head could really add up for a non-profit so dependent on outside funding.
Other than my work at District Six, I have also been starting some follow-up research from my senior thesis on the political origins of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. After engaging with the topic over the course of the year, there are some lingering questions I want to answer. Although I have already handed the thesis in, I am trying to take advantage of my time in Cape Town to interview a few important figures and consult more primary sources. Depending on what additional information I am able to find, I am considering trying to edit my thesis and publish it in an academic journal. It’s a bit of a long shot at this point, so we’ll have to see what happens.
So while I have been putting in a good amount of hard work, I have been making sure to fully enjoy all that Cape Town and the World Cup have to offer. It’s been fun cheering on the US (especially after their win on Wednesday), and despite their loss on Saturday night, it was awesome to finally see them advance into the Round of 16. With the US out, I’ll probably be cheering for Argentina and Ghana.
And since no blog post would be complete without a food reference, Saturday morning I made a triumphant return to the Neighborhood Goods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill just outside of downtown Cape Town. Every Saturday morning, around 50 food vendors gather in a barn/tent outside of a refurbished Biscuit Mill to sell everything from crepes and curries to falafel, gourmet steak sandwiches, and pan-seared tuna. It’s like any urban food festival (such as the Taste of Buffalo) except nicer, less expensive, and with full-sized portions. For the record, I ate a delicious falafel, date and walnut muffin, and flammkuchen (I have no idea how to describe it—you’ll have to check out this link)—all for about $8. Needless to say, now that I have weekends off from the museum, I will be back next Saturday!