Art lauds Women’s March

2009-08-08 00:00

THE African Art Centre’s new exhibition of woodcuts and Raku ceramics by Dina Cormick, titled “Celebrating the August Women”, has been created in memory of the 1956 August women’s march on the Union Buildings.

The images of dancing, singing women honour the memory of those heroic activists who danced and continue to dance defiantly in the face of injustice.

Cormick, who was born in Nkana, Zambia, and schooled in Harare, Zimbabwe, hopes her works will encourage people to make a concerted effort to record the names and stories of those women activists before it’s too late.

“Each year we celebrate August 9 as our national Women’s Day, yet few young people understand the significance of this holiday,” she said. “It is a sad reflection on how little we have honoured the memory of that historic day. A day when, for the first and only time in our history, women black, white, coloured and Indian, from all walks of life, united in solidarity against the vicious injustices of apartheid, specifically the loathsome pass book.”

Some 20 000 women took part in the 1956 march to Union Buildings, but only a handful of names are remembered. It’s something Cormick wants addressed. “Is it not time we gather the names of those women, who braved the wrath of the government to voice their anger?”

• “Celebrating the August Women” can be seen at the African Art Centre, 94 Florida Road, Durban, until the end of August. For more information, call 031 303 4634.

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