Hello from UnSchool Cape Town!
The 9th UnSchool Fellowship has launched, and we’ve hit the ground running! We’re all getting to know each other ultra fast speed with a classic UnSchool one legged stand to learn each others names, and it is all systems go for a filled-to-the-brim week of brain-training, fun and change-making.
Cape Town hosted us with warm weather on Day One, after some cold and wet (but very welcomed!) winter weather experienced earlier in the week. Our local co-hosts, Thessa (UnSchool alumni from Sao Paolo) and Wisaal, put the city into context for us, providing us with historical and cultural insights as well as the practicalities regarding the water situation and how to navigate this situation as visitors to the city. The week is set to be thoughtful and provocative in this beautiful and complex region, stitched together with culturally-rich threads.
The sunshine was accommodating as we made our way to the District Six Museum. The museum was co-created and curated by the memories of those who were forcibly removed from their communities and sent to rebuild their homes and lives on the outskirts of the city. It was established as a two-week exhibition which has turned out to last for 22 years... and counting. Aunty Ruth, a former District Six resident and museum story-teller, shared her history around life in District Six and the immense trauma and challenges that she and thousands of other families experienced living through the system. We were all captivated by her legacy and the legacy of District Six - not forgetting the museum. Aunty Ruth’s jovial spirit and incredible story-telling really moved us as a group and provided great perspective.
The fellows and team brought the excitement along to the home base at The Craft and Design Institute, where we got to know one-another in three minute Pecha Kuchas. Nine 20-second slides to share with the group gave us all a more in-depth understanding of each other. We cheered those who ran out of time and encouraged those who found themselves strapped for words. The consensus was that speaking about yourself against the clock surely comes with its challenges!
After our first session with our lead educator Emma, and a historical walk lead by Wisaal and Thessa, we broke injera (Ethiopian bread) together. The tasty and wholesome dishes paired with some wine, water, or Ethiopian tea provided nourishment. The community meal was a great way to relax after an intense first day, to mingle amongst ourselves with our mouths full and our fingers busy. We know that the week ahead will be bombarded with knowledge, challenges, surprises and the anticipation, but we’re ready! The excitement is palpable as Day Two gets underway.