About 400 people packed the Picture Cape Town: Landmarks of a New Generation exhibition when it opened at the Good Hope Gallery in the Cape Town Castle in South Africa on November 19, 1996. The exhibition forms part of a public awareness campaign, initiated and implemented by the GCI, that aims to establish linkages between cultural heritage and everyday life through photographs and commentary on urban landmarks (see "News in Conservation").
Picture Cape Town is the contribution of 10 young Capetonians, aged 11 to 18, to the international project. They were selected and guided by Associate Professor Gavin Younge, director of the University of Cape Town's Michaelis School of Fine Art. For three months the young photographers took photographs of personally significant social and architectural landmarks, as well as designated heritage sites, in Cape Town. "By recognizing their own landmarks as well as those of others, these young photographers have expanded the concept of landmarks," said Miguel Angel Corzo, director of the GCI.
At the opening, Mr. Corzo presented to the guest speaker, Lionel Mtshali, the minister of arts, culture, science, and technology, 100 signed copies of the exhibition catalogue, to be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. He also read a message from President Mandela that thanked the Institute and praised the participants for working "to increase awareness of cultural heritage preservation among the youth of this country. In focusing on the threads of that fabric we call a city, these young people have given us a glimpse of the garment as a whole."
In his remarks, Mr. Mtshali talked about the landmarks project's building of bridges between the cities selected by the GCI to participate—bridges "allowing the audience within those cities to experience their respective city in a fresh manner, and enabling international audiences who view these exhibitions to cross over the bridge into the lives and histories of people in other cities." Helping to officiate at the opening were Paul Grobbelaar, the director of the William Fehr collection at the Castle, Lalou Meltzer, curator of the Fehr collection, Gavin Younge, field director for Picture Cape Town, and Mahasti Afshar, the GCI's director of the project. A youth choir welcomed visitors with traditional songs and ended by singing the U.S. and South African national anthems.
The exhibition was on view in Cape Town until January 5, 1997. It then moved to Johannesburg, where it was on display from January 30 to March 2.