The Red Location Museum
Did you know?
The first MK (umKonto we Sizwe, the former military wing of the African National Congress) cell in South Africa was established in Red Location.
The Red Location Museum, also known as the Red Location Museum of Struggle, was conceived by the city of Nelson Mandela Bay to commemorate the heroic contribution of its citizens in the fight against apartheid.
The museum, which has won several international civic and architectural-design awards, is located in New Brighton township, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.
Red Location was one of 6 shanty towns that sprang up around 1877. At the beginning of the 20th century, black people were forcibly relocated here, and the area became a crucible for political activists and a safe haven for anti-apartheid fugitives.
The name Red Location comes from the red rust on the corrugated tin shacks; and the materials used in the museum’s construction - oxidised corrugated iron, wood and steel – pay homage to its shanty town heritage. Ironically, this building material was reclaimed from the Uitenhage Boer concentration camp in De Aar.
Red Location Museum, in New Brighton township is based around a multi-layered concept of memory as distinct from history – which is a version of the past. On one level, the museum symbolises a ‘memory box’ – a tin or container which migrant workers on South Africa's mines filled with mementos to remind them of their homes and their roots; on another, it deals with cultural memory as part of the collective domain.
This museum in Port Elizabeth, engages with the nation's recollections of an unjust past, using exhibitions depicting the horrors of institutionalised racism and the courageous heroes of the Eastern Cape’s anti-apartheid movement to interrogate collective, cultural and social memory.
Public programmes promote creative learning in the community and serve as a stimulus for upgrading the impoverished living conditions in the surrounding settlement. Visitors are encouraged to experience the Red Location Museum as a contemporary memorial to apartheid and extension daily township life.
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Who to contact
Red Location Museum:
T: +27 (0)41 408 8400
F: +27 (0)41 408 8401