Fields of Play is a District Six exhibition which looks at the intersection of sport, memory and community. It examines the impact of the Group Areas Act and forced removals on football clubs and associations in Cape Town from 1862 until 1966. The history of football is told through the memories of the players, referees and administrators who lived the game.

Sports Memory Project

In 2005 the Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism, in partnership with the Museum, launched the Cape Flats Tourism Feasibility Study Report. This study was intended as a guiding document to identify potential opportunities within the cultural, heritage and tourism sectors on the Cape Flats. One of its aims has been to promote heritage tourism awareness amongst those communities which have been disadvantaged and displaced from other areas under apartheid. One of the themes that emerged from the pilot study was that of sports as a conceptual framework around which to develop an exhibition about football.

The Museum was tasked with developing a Sports Memory Project that builds on an earlier sports exhibition – Displaying the Game (1997). This exhibition focused on the struggle for non-racial sports in South Africa and was created in collaboration with a number of people involved in various sporting codes and who had played a vital role in sporting struggles over the decades.

The project aims to activate public memory about football in Cape Town. We hope to capture the everyday spirit and stories of football clubs, players, administrators, referees, spectators and sports journalists who supported and continue to build the legacy of the game.

The Fields of Play is a temporary exhibition. The next phase of the project focuses on the struggle for non-racial football in the 1970s and 1980s.


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