The Ichikowitz Family Foundation in partnership with Constitution Hill celebrates 20 years of South Africa’s Constitution by unveiling a unique multi-media exhibition, immortalising people, places and events which laid the foundations for the country’s democracy that culminated in its renowned Constitution.
This innovative multi-media experience, It’s A Fine Line, combines hyper-realistic drawings with rare archive footage that, for the first time, brings to life some of the key history makers and events that shaped South Africa’s future. Many of these individuals and events have never before been given the prominence they deserve.
The fascinating exhibition offers South Africans the opportunity to connect with the country’s road to democracy, acknowledge the sacrifices made along the way, and embrace the principles of the world’s most progressive Constitution.
Coinciding with the exhibition is the launch of #IamConstitution, a national campaign, aimed at promoting the values and benefits of the Constitution among all South Africans, and a high school curriculum e-learning toolkit for teachers and learners, encouraging interaction and dialogue with South Africa’s transformation and future.
Relatives of the history makers featured in the exhibition will participate in this historic occasion bringing together close family members of Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Bram Fischer, Enoch Sontonga, John Dube, Pixley Seme, Pik Botha, Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The exclusive launch on 17 March will also be attended by senior Government Ministers, and the Provincial and Metro leadership, Judges of the Constitutional Court, and other dignitaries.
The driving force behind this initiative and founder of The Ichikowitz Family Foundation, Ivor Ichikowitz, says: “South Africa’s Constitution is one of the proudest achievements of our young democracy. As our country reaches an inflection point in the development of our democracy, many South Africans forget how much we have achieved in such a short time. We also forget that today there are still millions of people around the world who are still fighting for the very rights enshrined in our Constitution. Rights that we now take for granted, every day. Our #IamConstitution campaign encourages all South Africans to breathe, walk and live the Constitution, to celebrate our achievements and constructively confront our challenges to build the country that we all know South Africa can be.”
Following the successful introduction of its Heritage Art Collection in Alexandra in 2015, Ichikowitz added:
“It is a great privilege to play our part in celebrating some of the giants who laid the foundations for a free, non-racial and democratic South Africa. Our multi-media exhibition covering over 100 years of South Africa’s history is designed to stimulate constructive dialogue and debate amongst ourselves. We can only be the better for it. Dialogue lies at the heart of any civilization; it has always been Africa’s great legacy, and it is Africa’s gift to the world. It is always the right time for dialogue. But if ever there was a time that South Africa and the world needed it more than ever, it is now.”
It’s A Fine Line is a collection of acclaimed artist Dean Simon’s extraordinary pencil drawings evoking different interpretations of South Africa’s past. To amplify the experience, the artworks are complemented by archive footage showcased in prison cells at the Old Fort at Constitution Hill: Where the South African Constitution would rise out of the ashes of daily degradation to become a beacon of human rights and hope.
Constitution Hill CEO Ms Dawn Robertson comments on the significance of the exhibition:
“We are delighted to celebrate the historic 20th anniversary of our Constitution through collaborative events and partnerships like this thought-provoking exhibition that will kick-start the dynamic #IamConstitution campaign. Many of the stalwarts featured in the exhibition had a personal and often painful connection to the Old Fort, so it’s a privilege to host their families here at such a memorable gathering. Constitution Hill occupies such an indelible place in the consciousness of the nation and we encourage all South Africans to join us in celebrating the birthplace of our democracy and the protector of our human rights.”
It’s A Fine Line, which is part of the Ichikowitz Heritage Art Collection, opens for the public at the Old Fort, Constitution Hill, from 18 March to 30 April 2016.
IT’S A FINE LINE FAST FACTS
WHEN: Friday 18 March to Saturday 30 April 2016
Weekdays: 09h00 to 16h00
Weekends: 10h00 to 15h00
WHERE: Old Fort, Constitution Hill Precinct, 11 Kotzé Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
ENTRANCE FEE: Free of charge
About The Ichikowitz Family Foundation
The Ichikowitz Family Foundation contributes to the preservation of our heritage, the conservation of our environment, the education of our people and actively promotes nation building. The Foundation carries forward a long tradition of innovation, entrepreneurship, and community engagement to develop people through educational, environmental, and cultural activities. The philanthropic work of The Ichikowitz Family Foundation is based on intelligent-giving, innovation, and capacity-building with a major thrust on education and skills training. Its African Oral History Archive promotes a new understanding of African modern history and uses various channels, such as film, music, and art to foster dialogue between people and their heritage. By encouraging and resourcing the preservation of cultural treasures, the Foundation serves as a custodian of cultural inheritance for the nation and future generations.
About Constitution Hill
Constitution Hill is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency. It is home to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. This iconic venue, situated in the Johannesburg CBD, also includes the notorious Old Fort Prison Complex and Number 4 where South Africa’s leading political activists, including Chief Albert Luthuli, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, were detained. Apart from its engaging and gripping exhibitions, Constitution Hill is also open to the public for guided tours to the Women’s Gaol museum, Number Four museum, and Old Fort museum, Constitution Hill has become an important platform for Heritage-, Education-, and Tourism-related programmes. Constitution Hill also offers a variety of multi-purpose venues, suitable for conferencing, performances, a large array of events and for public activities and programmes.
About Gauteng Growth and Development Agency
The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, previously known as Blue IQ and GEDA, is a merged agency by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED). The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency is the implementation arm of the GDED and assists the department in leading, facilitating and managing sustainable job creation and inclusive economic growth and development in the Gauteng City Region. For more information, visit www.ggda.co.za